Fabrice Teroni (Université de Genève)
Emotions and memory.
17.12.2020, 10:00-11:30 CET (UTC+01:00).
Online Lecture via zoom.
Abstract: Pre-theoretically, it seems obvious that there are deep and multifarious relations between memory and emotions. On the one hand, a large chunk of our affective lives concerns the good and bad events that happened to us and that we preserve in memory. This is one amongst the many ways in which memory is relevant to the nature and causation of emotions. What does recent research teach us about these relations? In the first part of my talk, I shall consider three issues pertaining to these relations. a) Are there types of emotions that are exclusively related to memory? This issue concerns the individuation of emotion types. b) Do emotions in general have privileged links with types of memory (e.g., perceptual memory)? This is a question about the format of representation in emotion. c) Do emotional evaluations have privileged links with memory? This issue concerns the way in which the evaluative aspect of the emotions is realized in the subject’s psychology. On the other hand, which events we happen to preserve in memory very much depends on how we affectively reacted to them when they took place. Emotions are relevant to the nature and causation of memory in this and many other ways. The second part of my talk surveys four issues regarding these relations. a) Is there a relation between the formation of memories and emotions? This is the issue of selectivity, which concerns the role of emotions at the time of encoding. b) Is there a relation between the capacity to access a memory and emotions? This question targets the role of emotions at the time of remembering and relates to the phenomenon of “mood congruence”. c) Is there a type of memory content that is distinctively related to the emotions? This is the issue of affective memories and their nature. d) Is the attitude of remembering (as opposed to what one remembers) emotional in nature?