Anxiety and Memory

  • Peter J. Lang


The following chapter is a reflection on the ways in which anxiety may be represented and organized in memory, how anxiety responses modulate the retrieval of other, associated information, and how these responses are themselves modified when accessed in vivo or in imagination. It begins with a brief analysis of research on emotion-state dependent, and mood-congruent, verbal learning and memory. Current theory of these effects is assessed. Evidence is reviewed for an alternative view, which suggests that response information (about both somatic and visceral events) may mediate the retrieval of associated verbal memories. An information structure for emotion is proposed, consisting of response, stimulus, and meaning concepts, organized into an associative network. A prototype network is described, based on clinical phobia, and experiments exploring the utility of this model are presented. It is shown that fear prototypes can be accessed through imagery and that, in therapy, the processing of response components in the image is associated with fear reduction and clinical improvement.


Facial Expression Anxiety Disorder Sexual Arousal Affective Response Mood Induction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Lang
    • 1
  1. 1.University of FloridaUSA

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