Modulating Effects of Emotional Valence on Recognition Memory for High-Arousal Pictures

Jose Fernandez-Rey
|Universidad de Santiago de Compostela , España

Jaime Redondo
|Universidad de Santiago de Compostela , España



The main aim of this paper was to provide new evidence on the effects of valence on recognition memory of emotional pictures, on the basis of rigorous experimental control of stimulus material. Valence was manipulated using pleasant and unpleasant pictures, keeping arousal constant at a high level. A reference condition with a neutral value in both dimensions was also included. We found greater discrimination and a more conservative response bias, as well as slower recognition decisions, for pleasant pictures. Also worthy of mention is the high positive correlation between response times and discrimination measures just for such pictures. These results would be consistent with an adaptive interpretation based on motivation and personal relevance of emotional information.