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2016
Article
Schupp, H. T., Kirmse, U., Schmälzle, R. , Flaisch, T. , & Renner, B.

Newly-formed emotional memories guide selective attention processes: Evidence from event-related potentials.

Schupp, H. T., Kirmse, U., Schmälzle, R. , Flaisch, T. , & Renner, B. (2016). Newly-formed emotional memories guide selective attention processes: Evidence from event-related potentials. Scientific Reports, 6, 28091. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep28091

Emotional cues can guide selective attention processes. However, emotional stimuli can both activate long-term memory representations re ecting general world knowledge and engage newly formed memory representations representing speci c knowledge from the immediate past. Here, the self- completion feature of associative memory was utilized to assess the regulation of attention processes by newly-formed emotional memory. First, new memory representations were formed by presenting pictures depicting a person either in an erotic pose or as a portrait. Afterwards, to activate newly-built memory traces, edited pictures were presented showing only the head region of the person. ERP recordings revealed the emotional regulation of attention by newly-formed memories. Speci cally, edited pictures from the erotic compared to the portrait category elicited an early posterior negativity and late positive potential, similar to the ndings observed for the original pictures. A control condition showed that the e ect was dependent on newly-formed memory traces. Given the large number of new memories formed each day, they presumably make an important contribution to the regulation of attention in everyday life.