The ability to forget and the ability to remember are two seemingly opposing processes. Ask anybody about the two and they will generally say that they would like to forget less and remember more. The strength of a memory is sometimes coupled to the strength of the emotions tied to it: stronger emotion, stronger memory. This concept is what led me to write about an article discussing the relationship between memory and emotion. While the situation above is completely made up, and somewhat comical, it highlights the relationship between memory and emotion.
Traumatic experiences such as rape, abuse, or shell shock result in what is called “aversive learning.” This aversive learning can result in cue or context based expression of fear. This means that items and/or sounds associated with the event (cues) or similar situations (contexts) can trigger the expression of fear. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that is often associated with memory, and the amygdala is a part of the brain that is associated with the emotion of anxiety. Neuroscience is all about finding the connections between parts of the brain.
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