From Science Daily:
Rewarding learning today can improve learning tomorrow; this is one of the conclusions reached by researchers from the Cognition and Brain Plasticity research group of the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge (IDIBELL) and the University of Barcelona (UB) in their last work on the impact of emotions on the way we remember things. The study, published in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory journal, demonstrates for the first time in humans that the effects of the association of positive emotions in the process of acquisition and consolidation of memories extend selectively and prospectively over time.
Our brain, quoting Javiera Oyarzún, first author of the study, “works as a sorting machine. Every time we expose ourselves to a stimulus, our brain sorts it out in a category, such as people, animals, objects, etc. This way, whenever we receive new information we can integrate it with similar available information thanks to our ability to generalize, and then anticipate our responses to similar stimuli that may occur in the future.”
“When storing these stimuli, it is known that emotionally charged events are remembered better than neutral events. For example, we usually do not remember the details surrounding our usual way back home, but if during that time we receive a phone call with good news, or we witness a car accident, we will remember those details with much more precision.”
On this basis, the researchers wanted to go further and find out whether a positive experience could also influence the way we…