In the ample field of biological non-linear relationships there is also the inverted U-shaped dose-effect. In relation to cognitive functions, this phenomenon has been widely reported for many active compounds, in several learning paradigms, in several animal species and does not depend on either administration route (systemic or endocerebral) or administration time (before or after training). This review summarizes its most interesting aspects. The hypothesized mechanisms supporting it are reported and discussed, with particular emphasis on the participation of emotional arousal levels in the modulation of memory processes. Findings on the well documented relationship between stress, emotional arousal, peripheral epinephrine levels, cerebral norepinephrine levels and memory consolidation are reported. These are discussed and the need for further research is underlined
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