author of the study, Lila Davachi, who
is an associate professor in New York University 's (NYU) Department of
Psychology and Center for Neural Science said that our recollection of events
that occur are not only based on the actual experience in the physical world
but are also influenced by the internal events that occur subsequently. These
internal events, according to the author, persist for a long period of time
and, in turn, influence our future experiences.
Davachi adds that 'Emotion
is a state of mind' where the findings of the study clearly state that
cognition is dependent on previous experiences and that emotional brain lasts
for a long period of time.
has for long been thought that emotional experiences
are the ones that leave a mark
in the memory of an individual. In this study, however, it was found that
non-emotional experiences that follow emotional experiences are also remembered
when the study researchers conducted a memory test with the participants.
study was based on a series of images that two different groups of participants
participants in this group were screened emotional images initially that even
elicited arousal. Following the emotional images, the group participants were
then screened non-emotional images after a period of 10 to 30 minutes.
participants in this group were first screened non-emotional images first and
then were screened emotional images.
physiological arousal felt by the participants was measured in terms of skin
conductance while brain activity was measured using
. Both the groups were
tested similarly and then after a period of 6 hours, a memory test was
Provided Better Recall
findings of the study proved that an emotional
connect proved to be better in etching the situation into memory
rather than mere non-emotional experiences. The group of participants who
viewed emotional images initially, followed by non-emotional images recollected
the images better than the group of participants who viewed non-emotional
brain studies that were conducted using fMRI
showed that an emotional
experience resulted in a brain state that lasted for a period
ranging 20 to 30 minutes. The experiences shared during this time were
recollected better, even if they were non-emotional. This showed that emotional
experiences resulted in a brain state that affected future experiences and
non-emotional images were viewed initially, they did not evoke the same
emotions nor did they elicit a brain state that aided in their recollection
later. So the group that viewed the non-emotional images first, did not
recollect these images as vividly as the group that viewed non-emotional images
after viewing emotional images.
conducted this experiment along with colleagues to understand the essence of
emotional health and to correlate emotional experiences with memory and
recollection. This study proves conclusively that non-emotional experiences are
remembered better if they follow emotional experiences.
study is important for understanding the relevance of emotional health in well
being. Emotional health is when the individual is happy, self-confident,
resilient and self-aware. People who are self-confident are able to manage their
life better and are more successful in life.
The current study that identifies
the alteration in the brain state after an emotional experience is a sign of
the impact of emotions on memory
studies that look at emotional connections for specific improvements in memory
would aid in improving concentration at work as well as in schools, where large
amount of information is shared on a regular basis. The brain state that is
created after an emotional experience could also be further detailed to
understand the trigger and the mechanism of action for drug targets. Such drug
targets could help people with memory problems
, including Alzheimer's
benefit of enjoying an emotional experience is not only limited to feelings of elation after the experience is over but colors future
experience and their memory. It is, therefore, important to have positive
experiences that create a happy brain
state for better cognition.
- Improving Mental and Emotional Health - (http://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/emotional-health.htm)
- Building Mental and Emotional Health - (http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/improving-emotional-health.htm)