Though many factors can influence the likelihood that we remember a past experience, one critical determinant is whether the experience caused us to have an emotional response. Emotional experiences are more likely to be remembered than nonemotional ones, and over the past couple of decades there has been an increased interest in understanding how emotion conveys this memory benefit.
This book begins with a broad overview of emotion, memory, and the neural underpinnings of each, providing the reader with an appreciation of the complex interplay between emotion and memory. It then examines how emotion influences young adults’ abilities to store information temporarily, or over the long term. It explains emotion’s influence on the memory processes that young adults use consciously and on the processes that guide young adults’ preferences and actions without their awareness. This book then moves on to describe how each of these influences of emotion are affected by the aging process, and by age-related disease, providing the reader with a lifespan perspective of emotional memory.
Within each of the domains covered, the book integrates research from cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychological perspectives, examining both the behavioral and thought processes that lead to emotion’s effects on memory and also the underlying brain processes that guide those influences of emotion.
This book will be of interest to researchers and graduate students in memory, emotion, and aging, working in the fields of cognitive psychology, cognitive or affective neuroscience, and developmental or lifespan psychology.
"Emotional memory is a fundamentally important topic that is generating a great deal of exciting research. Elizabeth Kensinger has made important contributions to this rapidly growing literature, and in her scholarly yet highly readable book, she provides a comprehensive synthesis of the key findings and ideas at the forefront of the field. Emotional Memory Across the Adult Lifespan is an indispensable guide for anyone interested in the psychology or cognitive neuroscience of memory and emotion." - Daniel L. Schacter, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of The Seven Sins of Memory.
Part 1. Introduction and Background. 1. Emotion, Memory, and Their Interactions. 2. The Neurobiology of Emotion and Memory. 3. Methods for Investigating Emotion-Memory Interactions. Part 2. Emotional Memory in Young Adults. 4. Emotion’s Modulation of Implicit Memory. 5. Emotion’s Influence on Working Memory. 6. Emotion and Long-Term Memory Enhancements. 7. Aspects of Memory Enhanced by Emotion. 8. Emotion-Induced Memory Trade-offs. 9. Influences of Valence and Arousal on Emotional Memory. 10. Individual Differences in Young Adults’ Emotional Memories. Part 3. Emotional Memory in Older Adults. 11. Cognitive and Neural Changes with Advancing Age. 12. Emotional Processing in Old Age. 13. Aging and Emotional Working Memory. 14. When Aging Influences Effects of Emotion on Long-Term Memory. 15. Age-Related Positivity Biases. 16. Emotional Memory in Alzheimer’s Disease. 17. Summary and Conclusions.