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Keywords:

  • long-term memory;
  • norepinephrine;
  • stress hormones;
  • glucocorticoids;
  • acetylcholine;
  • memory modulation;
  • epinephrine

Abstract: Memories of emotionally arousing events tend to be more vivid and to persist longer than do memories of neutral or trivial events. Moreover, memories of emotionally influenced information may endure after a single experience. Recent findings strongly suggest that the influence of emotional arousal on memory consolidation is mediated by the release of adrenal stress hormones (epinephrine and glucocorticoids) and neurotransmitters that converge in modulating the noradrenergic system within the amygdala. Considerable evidence also indicates that amygdala activation influences memory by regulating consolidation in other brain regions. The findings suggest further that this memory-modulatory system may be involved in the formation of traumatic memories and posttraumatic stress disorder in human subjects.