The Effect of Mood and Emotional States on Memory Consolidation

Doctoral Dissertation


Research demonstrates that memory is better for emotional events than neutral events, especially as delays between learning and testing increase. This indicates a role for memory consolidation processes, which work to selectively stabilize emotional over neutral information in the brain over the hours, days, and years following learning. While previous research has focused on how certain aspects of experienced emotion, including arousal and stress, benefit memory consolidation, little has been done to investigate how induced emotional states themselves impact the consolidation of memory. Participants were randomly assigned to a Happy, Fearful, Sad, or Neutral emotion induction condition following the encoding of word and picture stimuli. Memory for this stimuli was tested 24-hours later. Although happy and fear emotion inductions similarly resulted in the mere suppression of neutral word recognition, sad emotion induction following learning resulted in a mood congruent memory bias for sad words. Emotion induction did not impact word recall or picture recognition. These findings suggest that emotional states can impact memory consolidation processes toward emotion congruent information under some circumstances.


Attribute NameValues
Author Alexis Michelle Chambers
Contributor Jessica Payne, Research Director
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Psychology
Degree Name PhD
Defense Date
  • 2015-05-18

Submission Date 2016-02-18
Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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