Lateralized Differences in Tympanic Membrane Temperature, But Not Induced Mood, are Related to Episodic Memory

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The present research examined the effects of pre-encoding and pre-recall induced mood on episodic memory. It was hypothesized that happy and/or angry mood prior to encoding (increasing left hemisphere activity), in tandem with fearful mood prior to recall (increasing right hemisphere activity) would be associated with superior episodic memory. It was also hypothesized that tympanic membrane measures (TMT), indicative of hemispheric activity, would change as a function of induced mood. Although subjectively-experienced mood induction was successful, pre-encoding and pre-recall mood did not alter memory, and only altered TMT in the pre-encoding fear and pre-recall angry mood induction conditions. Interestingly, baseline absolute difference between left and right TMT, a measure of differential hemispheric activity, regardless of the direction of that activity, was significantly positively related to number of total words written, number of correctly recalled words, and corrected recall score. This same TMT measure pre-encoding, regardless of specific mood, was significantly negatively related to false recall. Results are discussed in terms the HERA model of episodic memory, and in the nature of interhemispheric interaction involved in episodic recall.



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