Figure 4

From: Learning and memory under stress: implications for the classroom

Figure 4

Stress reduces the integration of new information into existing memories. On day 1, participants were instructed to memorise different stories presented in short movie clips (note that encoding is illustrated by a book for illustrative purposes). On day two, participants either underwent a mild stress induction procedure (indicated by the red flash) or a non-stressful control procedure before they were presented with a questionnaire regarding the study material from day 1. Importantly, some items of this questionnaire included wrong information about the study material (misinformation, shown in orange). On day 3, forced choice questions were used to test whether the misinformation had been integrated into the memory trace of the study material. In the memory test, possible answers were the correct original information, the misinformation presented the day before and other incorrect answers (lures) that were not referred to on day 2. Overall, participants endorsed misinformation more often than lures, thus demonstrating a misinformation effect. Critically, stressed participants endorsed fewer misinformation items than participants of the control group, suggesting that stress reduced the modification of the original memory on day 2. Adjusted, with permission, from ref. 81. *P<0.005