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Flashbulb Memories by Martin Conway

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Chapter Five

The Neurobiology of Flashbulb Memories

Neuroscientists studying memory formation have long known that a single exposure or a few exposures to a negative event can, in laboratory-trained animals, lead to behaviour which is very difficult to extinguish and which even when apparently “forgotten” can suddenly re-emerge in some later task. LeDoux (1992) concludes that such memories arising from emotional conditioning are “indelible”. Indeed, this and other types of reinforcement originally lead Livingston (1967b) to propose his account of brain structures involved in the formation of vivid and long-lasting memories of events of “biological” significance (see Chapter 1). There have, of course, been many advances in the neurology of memory ...

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