Emotional Arousal , Blood Glucose Levels , and Memory Modulation : Three Laboratory Exercises in Cognitive Neuroscience

Robert W Flint


The relationships between emotional arousal and cognition in humans represent an important field in cognitive neuroscience. Studies examining the characteristics of emotion-induced memory enhancement and the mechanisms through which these effects occur are becoming increasingly common. This article describes three affordable laboratory exercises of relevance to the growing interest in this field. Specifically, Experiment one reviews a protocol for examining memory, hypermnesia, reminiscence, and primacy/recency effects for emotional and neutral words. Experiments two and three provide opportunities to examine the relationships between blood glucose level and memory for either a list of pictures or the spatial location of pictures. Each laboratory exercise contains a certain amount of flexibility and is malleable to the specific needs of the instructor. For example, the use of blood glucose monitoring may be of value to a variety of different exercises examining stress and/or emotional arousal and the stimuli used in each of the protocols may be varied, creating opportunities for a number of different novel exercises. A series of questions have been provided at the end of each exercise in order to help stimulate in- class discussion. The potential application of this line of research in cognitive neuroscience is conveyed through a list of references where glucose has been used to attenuate cognitive deficits in Alzheimers disease, age- related cognitive decline, and other neuropsychological conditions.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.