Journal article

Mechanisms underlying memory enhancement for disgust over fear

Ella K Moeck, Lucy A Matson, Melanie KT Takarangi

COGNITION & EMOTION | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2021

Abstract

Disgust is remembered better than fear, despite both emotions being highly negative and arousing. But the mechanisms underlying this effect are not well-understood. Therefore, we compared two proposed mechanisms underlying superior memory for disgust. According to the memory consolidation mechanism, it is harder (but crucial) to remember potentially contaminating vs. threatening stimuli. Hence, disgust elicits additional memory consolidation processes to fear. According to the attention mechanism, it takes longer to establish if disgust (relative to fear) stimuli are dangerous. Hence, people pay more attention to disgust during encoding. Both mechanisms could boost memory for disgust. Ninety..

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Grants

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a Flinders University College of Education, Psychology, and Social Work Research Grant.