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An emotion-induced retrograde amnesia in humans is amygdala- and β-adrenergic-dependent

By B. A. Strange, R. Hurlemann and R. J. Dolan


The influence of emotion on human memory is associated with two contradictory effects in the form of either emotion-induced enhancements or decrements in memory. In a series of experiments involving single word presentation, we show that enhanced memory for emotional words is strongly coupled to decrements in memory for items preceding the emotional stimulus, an effect that is more pronounced in women. These memory effects would appear to depend on a common neurobiological substrate, in that enhancements and decrements are reversed by propranolol, a β-adrenergic antagonist, and abolished by selective bilateral amygdala damage. Thus, our findings suggest that amygdala-dependent β-adrenergic modulation of episodic encoding has costs as well as benefits

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1073/pnas.1635116100
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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