In order for the brain to consolidate an experience as an “emotional memory,” the experience or event must be very arousing to the individual’s brain. The arousal can be positive or negative. A very positive or a very negative arousal can cause a memory to be strongly retained.(Cahill, L., and J. L. McGaugh. 1998. “Mechanisms of emotional arousal and lasting declarative memory.” Trends in Neurosciences, 21(7):294-299).

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