Brain stores emotional memories vividly

TORONTO, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The human brain is wired to remember emotionally charged events while discarding mundane information like where you left your car keys, Canadian scientists say.

Emotional or traumatic events, like special occasions or accidents, are interpreted more keenly by our brains and stored with greater coherence, researchers at the University of Toronto said.


Meanwhile, the brain processes everyday occurrences with just a minimum of detail, they said, which is why people can recall significant events from their childhood but can't recall the name a television show watched the previous evening.

"We've discovered that we see things that are emotionally arousing with greater clarity than those that are more mundane," Toronto study leader Rebecca Todd told Britain's The Daily Telegraph newspaper. "What's more, we found that how vividly we perceive something in the first place predicts how vividly we will remember it later on ... it is like the flash of a flashbulb that illuminates an event as it's captured for memory."

The study has been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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