Chapter

A Brain System for Emotional Memory

Howard Eichenbaum

in The Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

Second edition

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778614
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778614.003.0011
A Brain System for Emotional Memory

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This chapter reviews our understanding of the brain pathways that mediate emotional experience and expression. First it considers the early behavioural and anatomical studies that identified the specific brain areas, especially areas in the temporal lobe, that are involved in the appreciation of emotional cues and in the expression of emotional behaviours. It then considers the current notion that some aspects of emotional memories involve a dedicated circuit in the brain that operates in parallel with other memory systems. In particular, it has been proposed that there is a specific memory system that mediates the learning and expression of emotional responses to stimuli even in the absence of conscious memory of the learning experience. The chapter examines the evidence for a specific system for the acquisition of learned fear, and then extends the review to consider whether the same brain system supports the acquisition and expression of a broad range of emotional associations.

Keywords: brain systems; emotional experience; emotional expression; emotional memories

Chapter.  8943 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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