Interactions of Emotion and Memory in the Aging Brain: Neural and Psychological Correlates

Lorena A. Ferguson, Stephanie L. Leal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: This review aims to summarize current research on the psychological and neural substrates of emotion and memory in aging. Recent Findings: Emotional memory remains largely intact with age; however, there are mixed findings regarding what type of information is preserved. Shifts in functional connectivity in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) and frontal cortex may underlie emotional memory alterations in aging and are particularly vulnerable to age-related disorders. However, we may be able to harness the interaction between emotion and memory to alleviate memory dysfunction in late life. Summary: The relationship between emotion and memory in aging is complex, as emotional biases exist but may differ depending on factors such as underlying pathology or stress hormones. With the advent of advanced imaging methodology and sensitive cognitive tasks, we are better suited to address these research questions. Understanding how emotion may be harnessed to modulate memory may provide a mechanism to rescue memory deficits in aging and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent Behavioral Neuroscience Reports
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Aging
  • Emotion
  • Medial temporal lobe
  • Memory
  • Pattern separation
  • Positivity effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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