Universiteit van Amsterdam

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Institute for Logic, Language and Computation

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10 November 2004, CSCA Lecture, Prof. dr. W.T.A.M. Everaerd

Speaker: Prof. dr. W.T.A.M. Everaerd (UvA)
Title: Accessibility of emotional memories: autobiographical memories and
emotional experience
Date: Wednesday 10 November 2004
Time: 16:00
Location: University Library, Doelenzaal, Singel 425, Amsterdam
'Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind', a recent movie, presents a romantic and futuristic neuroscience approach to deleting autobiographical memories. Although the idea of inducing amnesia may be intriguing it seems to be mere speculation in the light of the state of the art in neuroscience. In this lecture I will review the role of autobiographical memories in emotional experience; how do these memories contribute to what is experienced? After that I will discuss an approach to the modulation of emotional memories, which may eventually result in the modulation of emotional experience. I propose that retrieval of past emotional experiences needs hippocampal and amygdaloid transmission as long as this retrieval generates emotional responses. Memories that generate emotions are 'hot', in contrast to cold memories that are not accompanied by arousing emotional reactions. I hypothesize that these hot memories are better consolidated than cold memories. Modulation of emotional memories occurs through the action of stress hormones, which may influence encoding, consolidation as well as retrieval. Let's see where we are at this point in time.

For more information see the CSCA website at http://www.csca.uva.nl/.

Please note that this newsitem has been archived, and may contain outdated information or links.