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Article

Positive emotion can protect against source memory impairment

Citation
MacKenzie G, Powell TF & Donaldson D (2015) Positive emotion can protect against source memory impairment. Cognition and Emotion, 29 (2), pp. 236-250. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2014.911145

Abstract
Despite widespread belief that memory is enhanced by emotion, evidence also suggests that emotion can impair memory. Here we test predictions inspired by object-based binding theory, which states that memory enhancement or impairment depends on the nature of the information to be retrieved. We investigated emotional memory in the context of source retrieval, using images of scenes that were negative, neutral or positive in valence. At study each scene was paired with a colour and during retrieval participants reported the source colour for recognised scenes. Critically, we isolated effects of valence by equating stimulus arousal across conditions. In Experiment 1 colour borders surrounded scenes at study: memory impairment was found for both negative and positive scenes. Experiment 2 used colours superimposed over scenes at study: valence affected source retrieval, with memory impairment for negative scenes only. These findings challenge current theories of emotional memory by showing that emotion can impair memory for both intrinsic and extrinsic source information, even when arousal is equated between emotional and neutral stimuli, and by dissociating the effects of positive and negative emotion on episodic memory retrieval.

Keywords
Emotion; Valence; Source memory; Memory impairment; Recollection

Journal
Cognition and Emotion: Volume 29, Issue 2

StatusPublished
Author(s)MacKenzie, Graham; Powell, Tim F; Donaldson, David
Publication date31/12/2015
Publication date online02/05/2014
Date accepted by journal31/03/2014
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/20196
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN0269-9931
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