How mood challenges emotional memory formation: An fMRI investigation
Number of pages
SourceNeuroImage, 56, 3, (2011), pp. 1783-1790
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
PI Group Memory & Emotion
SubjectDCN 1: Perception and Action; DCN 2: Functional Neurogenomics; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment; NCEBP 9: Mental health
Experimental mood manipulations and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) provide a unique opportunity for examining the neural correlates of mood-congruent memory formation. While prior studies in mood-disorder patients point to the medial temporal lobe in the genesis of mood-congruent memory (MCM) bias, the interaction between mood and emotional memory formation has not been investigated in healthy participants. In particular it remains unclear how regulatory structures in the pre-frontal cortex may be involved in mediating this phenomenon. In this study, event-related fMRI was performed on 20 healthy participants using a full-factorial, within-subjects repeated-measures design to examine how happy and sad moods impact memory for valenced stimuli (positive, negative and neutral words). Main effects of mood, stimulus valence and memory were examined as was activity related to successful memory formation during congruent and in-congruent moods. Behavioral results confirm an MCM bias while imaging results show amygdala and hippocampal engagement in a global mood and successful recall, respectively. MCM formation was characterized by increased activity during mood-congruent encoding of negative words in the orbito-frontal cortex (OFC) and for mood-incongruent processing of negative words in medial- and inferior-frontal gyri (MFG/IFG). These findings indicate that different pre-frontal regions facilitate mood-congruent and incongruent encoding of successfully recalled negative words at the time of learning, with OFC enhancing congruency and the left IFG and MFG helping overcome semantic incongruities between mood and stimulus valence.
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