Published on Thu Jul 08 2021

Impairment Of Aversive Episodic Memories During COVID-19 Pandemic: The Impact Of Emotional Context On Memory Processes

Leon, C. S., Bonilla, M., Urreta Benitez, F. A., Brusco, L. I., Wang, J., Forcato, C.

Episodic memory is an essential function of the human being related to the ability to store and remember experiences and anticipate possible events in the future. Studying this function in this context is crucial to help understand what effects the pandemic will have on the formation of episodic memories.

1
0
1
Abstract

The threatening context of the COVID-19 pandemic provided a unique setting to study the effects of negative psychological symptoms on memory processes. Episodic memory is an essential function of the human being related to the ability to store and remember experiences and anticipate possible events in the future. Studying this function in this context is crucial to help understand what effects the pandemic will have on the formation of episodic memories. To study this, the formation of episodic memories was evaluated by free recall, recognition, and episode order tasks for an aversive and neutral content. The results indicated that aversive episodic memory is impaired both in the free recall task and in the recognition task. Even the beneficial effect that emotional memory usually has for the episodic order was undermined as there were no differences between the neutral and aversive condition. The present work adds to the evidence that indicates that the level of activation does not modify memory processes in a linear way, which also depends on the type of evocation that people are asked and the characteristics of the content to be encoded.