Elizabeth A. Kensinger

Learn More
It has been debated whether the link between amygdala activity and subsequent memory is equally strong for positive and negative information. Moreover, it has been unclear whether amygdala activity at encoding corresponds with enhanced memory for all contextual aspects of the presentation of an emotional item, or whether amygdala activity primarily enhances(More)
Individuals are more likely to remember negative information than neutral information. In the experiments reported here, we examined whether individuals were also more likely to remember details of the presentation of negative words, as compared with neutral words. In Experiment 1, the remember-know procedure was used to examine the effect of emotion on the(More)
Prior investigations have demonstrated that emotional information is often better remembered than neutral information, but they have not directly contrasted effects attributable to valence and those attributable to arousal. By using functional MRI and behavioral studies, we found that distinct cognitive and neural processes contribute to emotional memory(More)
Though emotion conveys memory benefits, it does not enhance memory equally for all aspects of an experience nor for all types of emotional events. In this review, I outline the behavioral evidence for arousal's focal enhancements of memory and describe the neural processes that may support those focal enhancements. I also present behavioral evidence to(More)
There have been extensive discussions about whether emotional memories contain more accurate detail than nonemotional memories do, or whether individuals simply believe that they have remembered emotional experiences more accurately. I review evidence that negative emotion enhances not only the subjective vividness of a memory but also the likelihood of(More)
To examine how emotional content affects the amount of visual detail remembered, we had young and older adults study neutral, negative, and positive objects. At retrieval, they distinguished same (identical) from similar (same verbal label, different visual details) and new (nonstudied) objects. A same response to a same item indicated memory for visual(More)
There is considerable debate regarding the extent to which limbic regions respond differentially to items with different valences (positive or negative) or to different stimulus types (pictures or words). In the present event-related fMRI study, 21 participants viewed words and pictures that were neutral, negative, or positive. Negative and positive items(More)
Emotional experiences can be described by two factors: valence (how negative or positive) and arousal (how calming or exciting). Although both dimensions appear to influence memory, they may do so via distinct mechanisms. The amygdala likely plays a specific role in modulating memory for arousing experiences, whereas non-amygdalar networks may be(More)
The lateral prefrontal cortex undergoes both structural and functional changes with healthy aging. In contrast, there is little structural change in the medial prefrontal cortex, but relatively little is known about the functional changes to this region with age. Using an event-related fMRI design, we investigated the response of medial prefrontal cortex(More)
If attention is divided during learning, memory suffers. Nevertheless, individuals can learn information with divided attention. This event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study (n = 17) investigated what neural processes support (1) learning with divided attention and (2) retrieval of information learned with divided attention.(More)