Modulation of retrieval processing reflects accuracy of emotional source memory

Adam P R Smith, Richard N A Henson, Michael D Rugg, Raymond J Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


There is considerable evidence that encoding and consolidation of memory are modulated by emotion, but the retrieval of emotional memories is not well characterized. Here we manipulated the emotional context with which affectively neutral stimuli were associated during encoding, allowing us to examine neural activity associated with retrieval of emotional memories without confounding the emotional attributes of cue items and the retrieved context. Using a source memory procedure we were also able to compare how retrieval processing was modulated when the emotional encoding context was recollected or not. An interaction between emotional encoding context and accuracy of source memory revealed that successful retrieval of emotional context was associated with activity in left amygdala, and a left frontotemporal network including anterior insula, prefrontal cortex and cingulate. In contrast, when contextual retrieval was unsuccessful, items encoded in emotional contexts elicited enhanced activity in right amygdala and a right-lateralized network that included extrastriate visual areas. These findings indicate distinct effects of emotion on successful and unsuccessful retrieval of source information, including lateralization of amygdala responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-9
Number of pages8
JournalLearning and Memory
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Emotions
  • Reference Values
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Brain Mapping
  • Recognition (Psychology)
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Adult
  • Amygdala
  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Male


Dive into the research topics of 'Modulation of retrieval processing reflects accuracy of emotional source memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this