Neural modulation of directed forgetting by valence and arousal: an event-related potential study

Gallant, Sara N and Dyson, Benjamin J (2016) Neural modulation of directed forgetting by valence and arousal: an event-related potential study. Brain Research, 1648 (A). pp. 306-316. ISSN 0006-8993

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Intentional forgetting benefits memory by removing no longer needed information and promoting processing of more relevant materials. This study sought to understand how the behavioural and neurophysiological representation of intentional forgetting would be impacted by emotion. We took a novel approach by examining the unique contribution of both valence and arousal on emotional directed forgetting. Participants completed an item directed forgetting task for positive, negative, and neutral words at high and lower levels of arousal while brain activity was recorded using electroencephalography (EEG). Behaviourally, recognition of to-be-remembered (TBR) and to-be-forgotten (TBF) items varied as a function of valence and arousal with reduced directed forgetting for high arousing negative and neutral words. In the brain, patterns of frontal and posterior activation in response to TBF and TBR cues respectively replicated prior EEG evidence to support involvement of inhibitory and selective rehearsal mechanisms in item directed forgetting. Interestingly, emotion only impacted cue-related posterior activity, which varied depending on specific interactions between valence and arousal. Together, results suggest that the brain handles valence and arousal differently and highlights the importance of considering in a collective manner the multidimensional nature of emotion in experimentation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Ben Dyson
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2016 12:11
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2018 11:52

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