The Effects of Cortisol on Emotional Memory and Age

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dc.contributor.advisor Gutchess, Angela en_US Alves, Alana 2017-06-13T13:17:38Z 2017-06-13T13:17:38Z 2017 en_US
dc.description.abstract Research has shown that we remember emotional information at the expense of surrounding background information, a phenomenon known as the emotional memory tradeoff effect. The stress response, and in particular cortisol, has been shown to both enhance and impair memory performance depending on when it occurs. While previous research has looked at how aging impacts the tradeoff by manipulating valence (positive, negative) and arousal (low to high) of objects and backgrounds, no prior study has looked at the effect of pre-learning cortisol and age on the tradeoff scores. Participants viewed and rated items placed on neutral backgrounds and later recalled both. Cortisol was also collected prior to encoding. Results revealed that higher pre-learning cortisol predicted a larger memory tradeoff for negative items in older adults relative to younger adults. No such interaction emerged for the positive tradeoff effect or in younger adults. These results suggest that the interaction between age and pre-learning cortisol play an important role in affecting the degree to which we remember emotional information. Keywords: tradeoff, emotion, memory, aging, cortisol en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language English en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Brandeis University en_US
dc.rights Copyright by Alana Alves 2017. en_US
dc.title The Effects of Cortisol on Emotional Memory and Age en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology en_US BA en_US Bachelors en_US Psychology en_US Brandeis University, College of Arts and Sciences en_US

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