Emotional modulation of habit memory: neural mechanisms and implications for psychopathology Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier Ltd Emotional arousal modulates the function of multiple memory systems. Extensive evidence employing both lower animals (i.e. rats and mice) and human subjects indicates that behavioral and pharmacological stressors enhance habit memory mediated by the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) at the expense of hippocampus-dependent cognitive memory. It has been the goal of several recent studies to uncover the neural mechanisms underlying this emotional enhancement of habit memory. Among the mechanisms implicated in this phenomenon are a modulatory role of the amygdala, stress hormones, and a competitive interaction between DLS-dependent and hippocampus-dependent memory systems. Studies investigating the emotional modulation of habit memory may be helpful for understanding how stress and anxiety promote maladaptive habitual behaviors in some human psychopathologies (e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder, drug addiction/relapse, etc.).

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Packard, M. G., Goodman, J., & Ressler, R. L.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Packard, Mark G||Goodman, Jarid||Ressler, Reed L

publication date

  • January 2018