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Impact of emotion on memory: Controlled study of the influence of emotionally charged material on declarative memory in Alzheimer's disease

  • Hiroaki Kazui (a1), Etsuro Mori (a1), Mamoru Hashimoto (a1), Nobutsugu Hirono (a1), Toru Imamura (a1), Satoshi Tanimukai (a1), Tokiji Hanihara (a1) and Larry Cahill (a2)...

Extract

Background

In an earlier study we showed that a powerful emotional experience (the Kobe earthquake) reinforced memory retention in patients with Alzheimer's disease, but we could not control factors other than the emotional impact of the earthquake.

Aims

To test our previous findings in a controlled experimental study.

Method

Recall tests consisting of two short stories were administered to 34 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 10 normal subjects. The two stories were identical except for one passage in each story: one was emotionally charged (arousing story) and the other (neutral story) was not.

Results

In both groups, the emotionally charged passage in the arousing story was remembered better than the counterpart in the neutral story. In addition, the extent of the memory improvement was similar in the subjects and in the controls.

Conclusions

The results provide further evidence that emotional arousal enhances declarative memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease, and give a clue to the management of people with dementia.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Hiroaki Kazui, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Hyogo Institute for Aging Brain and Cognitive Disorders, 520 Saisho-ko, Himeji, 670-0981, Japan. Tel.: +81 792 95 5511; fax: +81 792 95 8199; e-mail: kazui@hiabcd.go.jp

Footnotes

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1.

Long-term memory is differentiated into declarative memory and procedural memory. Declarative memory is explicit and conscious and it consists of information based on specific facts or data. Procedural memory is assessed by performance of particular skills and is usually retained in amnesia.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Impact of emotion on memory: Controlled study of the influence of emotionally charged material on declarative memory in Alzheimer's disease

  • Hiroaki Kazui (a1), Etsuro Mori (a1), Mamoru Hashimoto (a1), Nobutsugu Hirono (a1), Toru Imamura (a1), Satoshi Tanimukai (a1), Tokiji Hanihara (a1) and Larry Cahill (a2)...

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Impact of emotion on memory: Controlled study of the influence of emotionally charged material on declarative memory in Alzheimer's disease

  • Hiroaki Kazui (a1), Etsuro Mori (a1), Mamoru Hashimoto (a1), Nobutsugu Hirono (a1), Toru Imamura (a1), Satoshi Tanimukai (a1), Tokiji Hanihara (a1) and Larry Cahill (a2)...
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