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The Cognitive Neuroscience of MemoryAn Introduction$
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Howard Eichenbaum

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778614.001.0001

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A Brain System for Emotional Memory

A Brain System for Emotional Memory

(p.291) 11 A Brain System for Emotional Memory
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory

Howard Eichenbaum

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews our understanding of the brain pathways that mediate emotional experience and expression. First it considers the early behavioural and anatomical studies that identified the specific brain areas, especially areas in the temporal lobe, that are involved in the appreciation of emotional cues and in the expression of emotional behaviours. It then considers the current notion that some aspects of emotional memories involve a dedicated circuit in the brain that operates in parallel with other memory systems. In particular, it has been proposed that there is a specific memory system that mediates the learning and expression of emotional responses to stimuli even in the absence of conscious memory of the learning experience. The chapter examines the evidence for a specific system for the acquisition of learned fear, and then extends the review to consider whether the same brain system supports the acquisition and expression of a broad range of emotional associations.

Keywords:   brain systems, emotional experience, emotional expression, emotional memories

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