Stressful experiences are usually remembered more easily than neutral experiences. Researchers at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have analysed the reasons why this is the case. They put people in stressful situations during simulated job interviews and then recorded their memory of objects from these interviews. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, they analysed brain activity while the participants saw the objects again. Memories of objects from stressful situations seem to rely on similar brain activity as memories of the stress trigger itself.
The team headed by Anne Bierbrauer, Professor Oliver Wolf and Professor Nikolai Axmacher from the RUB Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience describes the findings in the journal Current Biology, published online on 14 October 2021.
“We usually have detailed images in your mind’s eye of stressful experiences, such as…