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Enhancement of declarative memory associated with emotional content in a Brazilian sample

By Jean Edith Frank and Carlos Alberto Bezerra Tomaz


ABSTRACTSeveral studies have documented that emotional arousal may enhance long-term memory. This is an adaptation of a paradigm previously used in North American and European samples in investigations of the influence of emotion on long-term retention. A sample of 46 healthy adults of high and low educational levels watched a slide presentation of stories. A randomly assigned group watched a story with an arousing content and another group watched a neutral story. The stories were matched for structure and comprehensibility and the set and order of the 11 slides were the same in both conditions. Immediately after viewing the slide presentation, the participants were asked to rate the emotionality of the narrative. The arousing narrative was rated as being more emotional than the neutral narrative (t (44) = -3.6, P<0.001). Ten days later subjects were asked to remember the story and answer a multiple-choice questionnaire about it. The subjects who watched the arousing story had higher scores in the free recall measure (t (44) = -2.59, P<0.01). There were no differences between groups in the multiple-choice test of recognition memory (t (44) = 0.26). These findings confirm that an emotional arousing content enhances longterm declarative memory and indicate the possibility of applying this instrument to clinical samples of various cultural backgrounds

Topics: Memória, Emoções, Memória emocional
Publisher: 'FapUNIFESP (SciELO)'
Year: 2000
DOI identifier: 10.1590/S0100-879X2000001200013
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