Document Type




Format of Original

8 p.

Publication Date




Source Publication

Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2007.03.005


The consolidation of newly formed memories occurs slowly, allowing memories to be altered by experience for some time after their formation. Various treatments, including arousal, can modulate memory consolidation when given soon after learning, but the degree of time-dependency of these treatments in humans has not been studied. Thus, 212 participants learned a word list, which was followed by either a positively or negatively valenced arousing video clip (i.e., comedy or surgery, respectively) after delays of 0, 10, 30 or 45 min. Arousal of either valence induced up to 30 min after learning, but not after 45 min, significantly enhanced one-week retrieval. The findings support (1) the time-dependency of memory modulation in humans and (2) other studies that suggest that it is the degree of arousal, rather than valence that modulates memory. Important implications for developing memory intervention strategies and for preserving and validating witness testimony are discussed.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Vol. 88, No. 1 (July 2007): 40-47. DOI. © Elsevier 2007. Used with permission.

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