In the process of forming long-term memory of some new experience (the first kiss or the first breakup), the brain creates new synapses for the connection of individual neurons. The stronger the synapses are, the easier it is to access these memories.
According to scientists, the strength of synapses depends on the state of the person at the time of the formation of memories. According to a recent study, a team from Waterloo University (Canada) reported an amazing factor that affects the entire process of memory formation: anxiety.
If a person is able to control this feeling, then it will positively affect the preservation of memories, the authors of the work say. If it can not be controlled, then anxiety can completely confuse memories. In general, anxiety is the most important emotional state.
Although, not many people like such an oppressive feeling, it helps people to remain vigilant in the face of potential threats. Meanwhile, even everyday tasks that a healthy person can easily cope with can cause serious difficulties for people with an anxiety disorder.
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In its worst manifestations, anxiety can cause problems with sleep, palpitations. Moreover, people, being dominated by such feelings, sometimes even can not leave the house. However, if anxiety plays a role in the formation of memories, then it is necessary to study it more carefully, experts say.
The formation of memories depends on how the human brain encodes incoming information. So, shallow data processing consists in the fact that a person remembers only surface objects: the color of a person's tie, for example. A deep data processing occurs when a person connects the surface details with something else.
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For example, a person remembers that his interlocutor had a red tie, because red is his mother's favorite color. Or another example: a person hears a new word and connects its meaning with other words that have a similar meaning.
To learn how anxiety can play a role in this process, scientists invited 80 students (including 64 girls) to participate in the study, whose anxiety level was assessed according to the stress, anxiety and depression scale. A controlled level of anxiety plays an important role in the matter of memorizing details, scientists believe.
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