CIGEV, area gerontology: Research on Lifespan, Multidirectionality and Plasticity – Director: Matthias Kliegel

Characterization of the influence of emotion on memory across the life span on the behavioral level


Memories of events encompass individual elements of the event (e.g. person, object) bound to each other and to their spatiotemporal context (date, place) (Eichenbaum & Cohen, 2001; Tulving, 1985). For example, yesterday, I had pizza for lunch with a colleague in a restaurant. An emotional element introduced in this scenario, e.g. a wasp in my drink, makes it more likely that a memory for this event is formed. How does this memory formation happen? Is memory enhanced for an emotional item (e.g. memory is better for the wasp), but gets disrupted for another element of the event (e.g. who you were with)? How does age influence this emotion modulation of episodic memory


We plan to examine these questions with novel laboratory paradigms that assess memory for the elements and the context in which an emotional event occurred at different ages.