Memory modulation in the classroom: selective enhancement of college examination performance by arousal induced after lecture.
ABSTRACT Laboratory studies examining moderate physiological or emotional arousal induced after learning indicate that it enhances memory consolidation. Yet, no studies have yet examined this effect in an applied context. As such, arousal was induced after a college lecture and its selective effects were examined on later exam performance. Participants were divided into two groups who either watched a neutral video clip (n=66) or an arousing video clip (n=70) after lecture in a psychology course. The final examination occurred two weeks after the experimental manipulation. Only performance on the group of final exam items that covered material from the manipulated lecture were significantly different between groups. Other metrics, such as the midterm examination and the total final examination score, did not differ between groups. The results indicate that post-lecture arousal selectively increased the later retrieval of lecture material, despite the availability of the material for study before and after the manipulation. The results reinforce the role of post-learning arousal on memory consolidation processes, expanding the literature to include a real-world learning context.
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ABSTRACT: Arousing events are better remembered than mundane events. Indeed, manipulation of arousal, such as by muscle tension, can influence memory even when it occurs shortly after learning. Indeed, our founding study showed this approach can raise delayed memory performance in older adults to a level comparable to that of unaided young adults. Yet, systematic studies, especially those investigating different modalities or types of memory, have not been done. This study investigated the effects of a brief bout of isometric exercise via handgrip on narrative and visuospatial episodic memory in healthy elders. Forty-seven participants completed the Logical Memory subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scales III (LM) and the Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT), followed alternately by no treatment and by moderately squeezing a sand-filled latex ball for 1-minute (counterbalanced order and test forms). Isometric exercise significantly increased both positive and negative affect ratings. Retention was tested two weeks later. Delayed recall and recognition of LM was enhanced by arousal relative to control, as was recognition of the BVRT. The results extend past findings that muscle tension induced after learning modulates memory consolidation, extending findings in elders to suggest that a simple form of isometric exercise can have practical effects, such as aiding memory for stories and images.Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 01/2014; · 3.33 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although forgetting is the common fate of most of our experiences, much evidence indicates that emotional arousal enhances the storage of memories, thus serving to create, selectively, lasting memories of our more important experiences. The neurobiological systems mediating emotional arousal and memory are very closely linked. The adrenal stress hormones epinephrine and corticosterone released by emotional arousal regulate the consolidation of long-term memory. The amygdala plays a critical role in mediating these stress hormone influences. The release of norepinephrine in the amygdala and the activation of noradrenergic receptors are essential for stress hormone-induced memory enhancement. The findings of both animal and human studies provide compelling evidence that stress-induced activation of the amygdala and its interactions with other brain regions involved in processing memory play a critical role in ensuring that emotionally significant experiences are well-remembered. Recent research has determined that some human subjects have highly superior autobiographic memory of their daily experiences and that there are structural differences in the brains of these subjects compared with the brains of subjects who do not have such memory. Understanding of neurobiological bases of such exceptional memory may provide additional insights into the processes underlying the selectivity of memory.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor