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Neurocase

Verbal emotional memory in a case with left amygdala damage.


PMID 25916250

Abstract

The amygdala nuclei appear to be critically implicated in emotional memory. However, in most studies, encoding and consolidation processes cannot be analyzed separately. We thus studied the verbal emotional memory in a young woman with a ganglioglioma of the left amygdala and analyzed its impact (1) on each step of the memory process (encoding, retrieval, and recognition) (2) on short- and long-term consolidation (1-hour and 1-week delay) and (3) on processing of valence (positive and negative items compared to neutral words). Results showed emotional encoding impairments and, after encoding was controlled for, emotional long-term consolidation. Finally, although the negative words were not acknowledged as emotionally arousing by the patient, these words were specifically poorly encoded, recalled, and consolidated. Our data suggest that separate cerebral networks support the processing of emotional versus neutral stimuli.