Title: The effect of post-learning arousal on memory in education

Authors: Erol Ozcelik

Addresses: Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Atılım University, 06836 İncek, Gölbaşı, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract: Cognitive psychological and neurobiological studies have shown that presenting emotional events after learning enhances memory performance. It has been suggested that arousal induced by emotional stimuli modulates memory consolidation. However, little is known about the memory consolidation process in education. The goal of this study is to investigate the effect of post-learning arousal on memory consolidation in an applied educational setting. Participants were presented with either emotionally arousing or neutral pictures after they studied the instructional materials. Their memory for instructional materials was tested by an immediate free-recall test and a recognition test administered after one week. The results suggest that presenting emotionally arousing pictures compared to neutral pictures enhanced recognition memory performance. These findings support that emotional stimuli facilitated consolidation of memory traces. By incorporating theories in cognitive psychology and neurobiology and using them in an educational setting, this study proposes a novel way to enhance learning through emotional arousal.

Keywords: memory consolidation; emotion; affect; innovation; post-learning arousal; emotional stimuli; recognition memory performance; emotional information; higher education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2015.070930

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2015 Vol.18 No.2, pp.266 - 276

Received: 30 Apr 2015
Accepted: 18 Jun 2015

Published online: 31 Jul 2015 *

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