Emotional Past Recollected With Better Clarity: Study

by Dr. Reeja Tharu on  October 20, 2012 at 10:39 AM Health Watch   - G J E 4
Many of us are able to speedily recollect our experiences from the past while we struggle to remember what we did the day before!
Emotional Past Recollected With Better Clarity: Study
Emotional Past Recollected With Better Clarity: Study

Many are, very often, good at remembering the details of a fight they had with their best friend, or a break up with a close companion, that they had years ago but they may not be good at recollecting what they had for dinner the night before !! This has, indeed, baffled many and prompted them to ponder.

The reason for this biased memory, according to Toronto university scientists, is that the more something impacts you the more likely you are to remember and recollect it later on.

According to Rebecca Todd, a postdoctoral fellow at the university's Department of Psychology and the lead author of the present study, "We show a propensity to recall things that are more exciting, emotionally, than things that are mundane. Besides, we are also more likely to recollect things that we have perceived well."

Todd and colleagues called this phenomenon 'emotionally enhanced vividness', which they describe as being akin to a flashbulb that illuminates an event, or a scene, and captures it for life.

They, along with researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of California, San Diego, studied brain activity and discovered that the amygdala, part of the brain that deals with emotions and past experiences is found to be more active when dealing with images that are rated as 'vivid'.

This elevated activity in the amygdala, in turn, enhances activity in both the visual cortex and the posterior insula, which is a region that integrates various body sensations.

It has been understood that the reason why people have a vivid perception of emotionally- significant images or episodes is due to enhanced clarity and emotional arousedness associated with the image.

The recent study conducted by Todd and colleagues was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Source: Medindia

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