The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Acute effects of alcohol on memory: Impact of emotional context and serial position

Acute effects of alcohol on memory: Impact of emotional context and serial position
Acute effects of alcohol on memory: Impact of emotional context and serial position
Although the amnestic effects of alcohol in humans are well known, its effects on emotional memory are unclear. In this study, using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design, we examine narrative emotional episodic memory in healthy human female volunteers (n = 32) who received either a single dose of alcohol (0.6 g/kg), or a placebo and then viewed neutral story elements presented in either a neutral or emotional context. Memory was tested for gist and detail of the neutral elements 3 days later in a surprise recognition test. Since alcohol modulates GABAergic neurotransmission and may exert its effects on emotion through the limbic system, we predicted that acute alcohol treatment would reduce the expected emotional memory-advantage for gist, leaving detail memory relatively unaffected. Furthermore, given previous findings showing that ‘primacy’ memory is enhanced by physiological arousal, we predicted that reduced arousal produced by alcohol would have the opposite effect and impair primacy memory relative to the middle or ‘recency’ sections of the narrative. Emotional arousal was expected to oppose this effect, so impaired primacy memory following alcohol was only expected in the neutral version of the narrative. Although there was a main effect of story phase (though not of story version), contrary to expectations, alcohol impaired primacy memory for emotionally encoded neutral material. The results suggest that under certain circumstances emotional context or physiological arousal make memories labile and susceptible to disruption through pharmacological manipulation during encoding
emotional-memory, alcohol, amnesia, gist, arousal, primacy, serial position
1074-7427
Brown, Jennie
6f016b7c-26f6-4157-8553-57b622438d90
Brignell, Catherine M.
ec44ecae-8687-4bbb-bc81-8c2c8f27febd
Dhiman, Sharinjeet K.
66514fc2-1e74-4fb2-aedf-8bcffbe7593b
Curran, H. Valerie
0bbd99ae-0f3a-4566-947f-54d1b09cab41
Kamboj, Sunjeev K.
af766a66-19c2-4463-ad07-89837670adc7
Brown, Jennie
6f016b7c-26f6-4157-8553-57b622438d90
Brignell, Catherine M.
ec44ecae-8687-4bbb-bc81-8c2c8f27febd
Dhiman, Sharinjeet K.
66514fc2-1e74-4fb2-aedf-8bcffbe7593b
Curran, H. Valerie
0bbd99ae-0f3a-4566-947f-54d1b09cab41
Kamboj, Sunjeev K.
af766a66-19c2-4463-ad07-89837670adc7

Brown, Jennie, Brignell, Catherine M., Dhiman, Sharinjeet K., Curran, H. Valerie and Kamboj, Sunjeev K. (2010) Acute effects of alcohol on memory: Impact of emotional context and serial position. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. (doi:10.1016/j.nlm.2009.12.010).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Although the amnestic effects of alcohol in humans are well known, its effects on emotional memory are unclear. In this study, using a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design, we examine narrative emotional episodic memory in healthy human female volunteers (n = 32) who received either a single dose of alcohol (0.6 g/kg), or a placebo and then viewed neutral story elements presented in either a neutral or emotional context. Memory was tested for gist and detail of the neutral elements 3 days later in a surprise recognition test. Since alcohol modulates GABAergic neurotransmission and may exert its effects on emotion through the limbic system, we predicted that acute alcohol treatment would reduce the expected emotional memory-advantage for gist, leaving detail memory relatively unaffected. Furthermore, given previous findings showing that ‘primacy’ memory is enhanced by physiological arousal, we predicted that reduced arousal produced by alcohol would have the opposite effect and impair primacy memory relative to the middle or ‘recency’ sections of the narrative. Emotional arousal was expected to oppose this effect, so impaired primacy memory following alcohol was only expected in the neutral version of the narrative. Although there was a main effect of story phase (though not of story version), contrary to expectations, alcohol impaired primacy memory for emotionally encoded neutral material. The results suggest that under certain circumstances emotional context or physiological arousal make memories labile and susceptible to disruption through pharmacological manipulation during encoding

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2010
Keywords: emotional-memory, alcohol, amnesia, gist, arousal, primacy, serial position

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 73534
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/73534
ISSN: 1074-7427
PURE UUID: 2428c01f-33c3-480e-9577-e21d83623ee2

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Mar 2010
Last modified: 19 Jul 2019 23:41

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×