Memories for emotional events constitute the core of our personal history, yet little is known about theneurocognitive mechanisms that mediate the influence of emotion on memory in the human brain. Theproposed research uses modern cognitive neuroscience techniques to elucidate how emotion processingnetworks interface with memory systems and executive control regions to enhance both explicit (declarative)and implicit (non-declarative) forms of human memory. To achieve this aim, behavioral and functionalmagnetic resonance imaging studies of healthy adults will be combined with behavioral and intracranialevent-related potential studies of epileptic patients during memory encoding tasks for stimuli that vary in theiremotional salience. We hypothesize that emotional retention advantages in explicit memory depend oninteractions between the amygdala and medial temporal lobe memory system (MMS), and that these effectswill also involve extrastriate, parietal, and prefrontal cortex (RFC) regions according to executive functionsrelated to perception/attention, working memory, and semantic processing. We further predict that emotionalretention advantages in implicit memory, as measured by perceptual priming, depend on interactionsbetween the amygdala and sensory neocortex in a modality-specific manner. Finally, we expect thatconscious attempts to regulate one's emotions have a greater impact on explicit than implicit memory andare implemented by influences of cognitive control regions of the PFC and anterior cingulate on activity in theamygdala and MMS as a function of the effectiveness and type of regulation strategy deployed.The proposed research has specific clinical implications for understanding how epilepsy affects brainstructures that form memories for emotional experiences, and the extent to which epileptic patients can usecognitive strategies to alter their emotional memories. This research has relevance for public health morebroadly in that it can help understand how emotional memories become dysfunctional in a variety ofneurologic disorders. New insights into these clinical conditions will be gained by providing a detailedaccount of the dynamic interplay between emotion, memory, and executive control systems in the humanbrain.

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