EMOTION AND MEMORY: EVENT-RELATED POTENTIAL INDICES PREDICTIVE FOR SUBSEQUENT SUCCESSFUL MEMORY DEPEND ON THE EMOTIONAL MOOD STATE
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The present research investigated the influences of emotional mood states on cognitive processes and neural circuits during long-term memory encoding using event-related potentials (ERPs). The authors assessed whether the subsequent memory effect (SME), an electrophysiological index of successful memory encoding, varies as a function of participants' current mood state. ERPs were recorded while participants in good or bad mood states were presented with words that had to be memorized for subsequent recall. In contrast to participants in bad mood, participants in good mood most frequently applied elaborative encoding styles. At the neurophysiological level, ERP analyses showed that potentials to subsequently recalled words were more positive than to forgotten words at central electrodes in the time interval of 500-650 ms after stimulus onset (SME). At fronto-central electrodes, a polarity-reversed SME was obtained. The strongest modulations of the SME by participants' mood state were obtained at fronto-temporal electrodes. These differences in the scalp topography of the SME suggest that successful recall relies on partially separable neural circuits for good and bad mood states. The results are consistent with theoretical accounts of the interface between emotion and cognition that propose mood-dependent cognitive styles.
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