The Neurobiology of Flashbulb Memories
DOI link for The Neurobiology of Flashbulb Memories
The Neurobiology of Flashbulb Memories book
Neuroscientists studying memory formation have long known that a single exposure or a few exposures to a negative event can, in laboratory-trained animals, lead to behaviour which is very difficult to extinguish and which even when apparently "forgotten" can suddenly re-emerge in some later task. LeDoux (1992) concludes that such memories arising from emotional conditioning are "indelible". Indeed, this and other types of reinforcement originally lead Livingston (1967b) to propose his account of brain structures involved in the formation ofvivid and long-lasting memories of events of "biological" significance (see Chapter 1). There have, of course, been many advances in the neurology of memory since Livingston's initial proposals. Nevertheless, the suggestion that events may be encoded differently when processed through different structures in the brain remains somewhat controversial, although on balance current evidence would seem to favour at least the possibility of differential encoding. In this chapter, we will briefly consider neurological structures implicated in memory formation and neuronal changes that underlie encoding. The aim is to provide an outline sketch only of the brain systems that support memory and to indicate how these might be related to the FMH (for a more complete account of neuropsychology, see Kolb & Wishaw, 1990).