The Impact of Aging and Alzheimer's Disease on Emotional Enhancement of Memory

BARAN Z. , CANGÖZ B. , Ozel-Kizil E. T.

EUROPEAN NEUROLOGY, vol.72, pp.30-37, 2014 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 72
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000359924
  • Title of Journal : EUROPEAN NEUROLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.30-37


Emotional enhancement of memory (EEM) has been a well-known phenomenon which corresponds to the advantage of emotional stimuli to be better recalled than neutral ones. Previous studies suggest that aging favours recollection of positive items and this pattern is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Emotional valence of different stimulus modalities, i.e. pictures and words, may also have an effect on each other's memory performances. However, none of these were clearly studied in AD. This study aimed to evaluate how emotional valences of simultaneously presented stimuli affected recall in healthy young (YG, n = 30), healthy elderly (HE, n = 30) participants and in patients with AD (n = 30). A battery consisting of emotional words presented on emotional pictures was developed. An analysis of a 3 (Groups) x 3 (Emotional Valence of Picture) x 3 (Emotional Valence of Word) mixed ANOVA design was carried out. Patients with AD could process emotional information similarly to healthy participants; however, they had EEM only for picture recalling. Emotional valence of the co-presented stimulus had a boosting effect both in the YG and HE, but not in AD group, especially if both of the stimuli had the same emotional valence. This study highlights the impaired EEM for verbal and preserved EEM for non-verbal declarative memory in patients with AD, the neurobiological underpinnings of which should be addressed by future studies. (C) 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel