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Development in the neurophysiology of emotion processing and memory in school-age children

Development in the neurophysiology of emotion processing and memory in school-age children

Authors: 
JS Leventon, JS Stevens, PJ Bauer
Year: 
2014
Journal: 
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Abstract: 

In the adult literature, emotional arousal is regarded as a source of the enhancing effect of emotion on subsequent memory. Here, we used behavioral, electrophysiological, and psychophysiological methods to examine the role of emotional arousal on subsequent memory in school-age children. Five- to 8-year-olds, divided into younger and older groups, viewed emotional scenes as EEG, heart rate, and respiration was recorded, and participated in a memory task 24 hours later where EEG and behavioral responses were recorded; participants provided subjective ratings of the scenes after the memory task. All measures indicated emotion responses in both groups, and in ERP measures the effects were stronger for older children. Emotion responses were more consistent across measures for negative than positive stimuli. Behavioral memory performance was strong but did not differ by emotion condition. Emotion influenced the ERP index of recognition memory in the older group only (enhanced recognition of negative scenes). The findings an increasing interaction of emotion and memory during the school years. Further, the findings impress the value of combining multiple methods to assess emotion and memory in development. Development in the neurophysiology of emotion processing and memory in school-age children.

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