Neural systems and the emotion-memory link.
Additional Document Info
The present brief review for this Special Issue summarizes some of the original research on the emotional modulation of memory. The review begins by highlighting the pioneering research from James L. McGaugh and colleagues demonstrating modulatory effects of post-training drug administration on memory consolidation, in particular the stress hormone epinephrine. The subsequent discovery of a critical role for the basolateral amygdala in emotional modulation of memory is described. Within the context of a multiple systems approach to memory focusing on selective roles for the hippocampus and dorsolateral striatum in cognitive and habit memory, the original studies indicating that robust emotional arousal can bias animals and humans toward the predominant use of habit memory are reviewed. This effect of emotional arousal on the relative use of multiple memory systems depends on a modulatory role of the basolateral amygdala. Finally, we briefly consider how an emotion-induced enhancement of dorsolateral striatal-dependent memory may be relevant to understanding maladaptive habitual behaviors in certain human psychopathologies.