This chapter presents an overview of current conceptualizations of the emotional enhancement of explicit and implicit memory. It postulates that these processes depend largely on arousal-mediated noradrenergic influences on the amygdala, a key hub in a brain network, conveying information about the (emotional) salience of stimuli and events. Selected genetic polymorphisms known to cause individual differences in neurotransmitter systems mediating emotional memory enhancement are described, as well as how these may be used as tools to investigate effects of neuromodulators and hormones on emotional memory and learning. The conclusion drawn is that studies involving candidate gene approaches should be conducted alongside genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in order to improve understanding of how genetic variations and gene clusters affect emotional memory at a molecular level. Combining earlier findings with novel work obtained from genetic studies will help understand how heritability and life experience mediate and aid generate individual differences in brain and behavior function related to emotional memory.
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