Aging and Emotional Memory

Mara Mather

in Memory and Emotion

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195158564
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848126 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

Aging and Emotional                         Memory

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This chapter discusses memory in the elderly and examines age-related changes in emotional processing — in mechanisms of emotional regulation and arousal, for example, considered both psychologically and in terms of their neural mechanisms. It then offers an intriguing set of suggestions about how these changes should influence emotional memory. Among other issues, it considers whether the older person's improved ability to regulate emotion implies that memories should become more emotionally gratifying, as well as whether the emotional qualities of experience might actually protect an individual against the age-related decline in memory. These suggestions are then evaluated by reviewing the current literature on age differences in the effects of emotion on memory. Existing behavioral studies on emotion and aging indicate that the relationship between emotion and memory should change as people age. The link between aging and flashbulb memories is also considered.

Keywords: emotional memory; elderly; aging; emotion; emotional regulation; arousal; age differences; flashbulb memories

Chapter.  16616 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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