Monday, May 15, 2017

Emotions and Belief, 2

Powerful emotions create strong memories; and memories, when coupled with language, are the basis for forming conscious beliefs. This level of belief is what we often call ‘knowledge’, but if it doesn’t have an emotional appeal, the belief will not register deeply in a person’s mind. The hippocampus, often dubbed the brain’s search engine, utilizes emotions to help establish long-term memory. Very emotional events tend to be written into memory more strongly than nonemotional events. Memories are affected by stress. Studies at Yale concluded that the neuropeptides and neurotransmitters released during stress can alter the functioning of areas of the brain directly involved with memory formation and recall. This may interfere with the laying down of memory traces for incidents of childhood abuse, and may possibly lead to long-term distortions for the facts, or even amnesia.

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