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Brief learning induces a memory bias for arousing-negative words: an fMRI study in high and low trait anxious persons.

Eden AS, Dehmelt V, Bischoff M, Zwitserlood P, Kugel H, Keuper K, Zwanzger P, Dobel C - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: The behavioral results demonstrate that associative word-learning leads to an explicit (but no implicit) memory bias for negatively linked pseudowords, relative to neutral ones, which confirms earlier studies.Bilateral amygdala activation underlines the behavioral effect: Higher trait anxiety is correlated with stronger amygdala activation for negatively linked pseudowords than for neutrally linked ones.Most interestingly, this effect is also present for negatively paired pseudowords that participants could not remember well.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University Hospital of Münster Münster, Germany ; Institute of Psychology, University of Münster Münster, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Persons suffering from anxiety disorders display facilitated processing of arousing and negative stimuli, such as negative words. This memory bias is reflected in better recall and increased amygdala activity in response to such stimuli. However, individual learning histories were not considered in most studies, a concern that we meet here. Thirty-four female persons (half with high-, half with low trait anxiety) participated in a criterion-based associative word-learning paradigm, in which neutral pseudowords were paired with aversive or neutral pictures, which should lead to a valence change for the negatively paired pseudowords. After learning, pseudowords were tested with fMRI to investigate differential brain activation of the amygdala evoked by the newly acquired valence. Explicit and implicit memory was assessed directly after training and in three follow-ups at 4-day intervals. The behavioral results demonstrate that associative word-learning leads to an explicit (but no implicit) memory bias for negatively linked pseudowords, relative to neutral ones, which confirms earlier studies. Bilateral amygdala activation underlines the behavioral effect: Higher trait anxiety is correlated with stronger amygdala activation for negatively linked pseudowords than for neutrally linked ones. Most interestingly, this effect is also present for negatively paired pseudowords that participants could not remember well. Moreover, neutrally paired pseudowords evoked higher amygdala reactivity than completely novel ones in highly anxious persons, which can be taken as evidence for generalization. These findings demonstrate that few word-learning trials generate a memory bias for emotional stimuli, indexed both behaviorally and neurophysiologically. Importantly, the typical memory bias for emotional stimuli and the generalization to neutral ones is larger in high anxious persons.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Percentage of correct responses in the cued-recall test, for four sessions (1 = immediately, 2 = 4 days, 3 = 8 days, and 4 = 12 days after training), for high-anxiety (Upper) and low-anxiety (Lower) participants. Pseudowords paired with arousing-negative content are presented in gray bars; neutrally linked pseudowords in dashed bars. Error bars represents 1 SE.
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Figure 1: Percentage of correct responses in the cued-recall test, for four sessions (1 = immediately, 2 = 4 days, 3 = 8 days, and 4 = 12 days after training), for high-anxiety (Upper) and low-anxiety (Lower) participants. Pseudowords paired with arousing-negative content are presented in gray bars; neutrally linked pseudowords in dashed bars. Error bars represents 1 SE.

Mentions: Figure 1 displays the recall rates (correct translation) immediately after, 4, 8, and 12 days after training, for both participant groups and pseudoword affects. Note that performance is displayed in percentage correct, while statistical analyses were done on absolute values (maximum = 44). As expected, the brief and shallow training yielded moderate recall results. These were highest in the first session immediately after training (about 25% correct translations), decreased to around 15% correct translations by the second session 4 days later, but remained stable in session three and four (8 and 12 days after learning). The main effect of session was significant: F(3,96) = 50.655; p < 0.001, and is best explained by a linear effect: F(1,32) = 56.493; p < 0.001. Overall, pseudowords linked with arousing-negative pictures were recalled significantly better than neutrally linked ones, which is reflected in a main effect for pseudoword affect, F(1,32) = 4.347; p = 0.045. The three-way interaction between pseudoword affect, session, and trait anxiety also reached significance F(3,96) = 6.523; p = 0.013.


Brief learning induces a memory bias for arousing-negative words: an fMRI study in high and low trait anxious persons.

Eden AS, Dehmelt V, Bischoff M, Zwitserlood P, Kugel H, Keuper K, Zwanzger P, Dobel C - Front Psychol (2015)

Percentage of correct responses in the cued-recall test, for four sessions (1 = immediately, 2 = 4 days, 3 = 8 days, and 4 = 12 days after training), for high-anxiety (Upper) and low-anxiety (Lower) participants. Pseudowords paired with arousing-negative content are presented in gray bars; neutrally linked pseudowords in dashed bars. Error bars represents 1 SE.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4543815&req=5

Figure 1: Percentage of correct responses in the cued-recall test, for four sessions (1 = immediately, 2 = 4 days, 3 = 8 days, and 4 = 12 days after training), for high-anxiety (Upper) and low-anxiety (Lower) participants. Pseudowords paired with arousing-negative content are presented in gray bars; neutrally linked pseudowords in dashed bars. Error bars represents 1 SE.
Mentions: Figure 1 displays the recall rates (correct translation) immediately after, 4, 8, and 12 days after training, for both participant groups and pseudoword affects. Note that performance is displayed in percentage correct, while statistical analyses were done on absolute values (maximum = 44). As expected, the brief and shallow training yielded moderate recall results. These were highest in the first session immediately after training (about 25% correct translations), decreased to around 15% correct translations by the second session 4 days later, but remained stable in session three and four (8 and 12 days after learning). The main effect of session was significant: F(3,96) = 50.655; p < 0.001, and is best explained by a linear effect: F(1,32) = 56.493; p < 0.001. Overall, pseudowords linked with arousing-negative pictures were recalled significantly better than neutrally linked ones, which is reflected in a main effect for pseudoword affect, F(1,32) = 4.347; p = 0.045. The three-way interaction between pseudoword affect, session, and trait anxiety also reached significance F(3,96) = 6.523; p = 0.013.

Bottom Line: The behavioral results demonstrate that associative word-learning leads to an explicit (but no implicit) memory bias for negatively linked pseudowords, relative to neutral ones, which confirms earlier studies.Bilateral amygdala activation underlines the behavioral effect: Higher trait anxiety is correlated with stronger amygdala activation for negatively linked pseudowords than for neutrally linked ones.Most interestingly, this effect is also present for negatively paired pseudowords that participants could not remember well.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis, University Hospital of Münster Münster, Germany ; Institute of Psychology, University of Münster Münster, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Persons suffering from anxiety disorders display facilitated processing of arousing and negative stimuli, such as negative words. This memory bias is reflected in better recall and increased amygdala activity in response to such stimuli. However, individual learning histories were not considered in most studies, a concern that we meet here. Thirty-four female persons (half with high-, half with low trait anxiety) participated in a criterion-based associative word-learning paradigm, in which neutral pseudowords were paired with aversive or neutral pictures, which should lead to a valence change for the negatively paired pseudowords. After learning, pseudowords were tested with fMRI to investigate differential brain activation of the amygdala evoked by the newly acquired valence. Explicit and implicit memory was assessed directly after training and in three follow-ups at 4-day intervals. The behavioral results demonstrate that associative word-learning leads to an explicit (but no implicit) memory bias for negatively linked pseudowords, relative to neutral ones, which confirms earlier studies. Bilateral amygdala activation underlines the behavioral effect: Higher trait anxiety is correlated with stronger amygdala activation for negatively linked pseudowords than for neutrally linked ones. Most interestingly, this effect is also present for negatively paired pseudowords that participants could not remember well. Moreover, neutrally paired pseudowords evoked higher amygdala reactivity than completely novel ones in highly anxious persons, which can be taken as evidence for generalization. These findings demonstrate that few word-learning trials generate a memory bias for emotional stimuli, indexed both behaviorally and neurophysiologically. Importantly, the typical memory bias for emotional stimuli and the generalization to neutral ones is larger in high anxious persons.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus