Dissocier les effets facilitants et les effets délétères de l’émotion sur la cognition

Translated title of the contribution: Dissociating between enhancing and impairing effects of emotion on cognition

Florin Dolcos, Ekaterina Denkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives Emerging evidence suggests that emotion can have both enhancing and impairing effects on various cognitive processes. These opposing effects can be identified at different levels, both within the same cognitive process and across different processes, as well as at more general levels, such as in the case of the response to stress. The aim of the present review is to discuss recent advances in the mechanisms underlying the enhancing and impairing effects of emotion on different aspects within the same process (e.g., episodic memory) and across specific cognitive processes (perception vs. episodic memory, working memory vs. episodic memory), as well as in the context of the response to stress. Emerging Evidence The available evidence points to a number of aspects that dissociate the opposing effects of emotion on cognition. (i) Opposing effects within episodic memory can be attributed to different accounts, involving dissociation at different levels: central vs. peripheral trade-off, high vs. low prioritization of information processing, and items encoding vs. the formation of complex associations. (ii) The opposing effects across cognitive processes, such as perception and episodic memory, can be linked to dissociation between immediate/impairing vs. long-term/enhancing effects, which are mediated by common and dissociable neural mechanisms, involving bottom-up and top-down processes. (iii) Finally, in the larger context of the response to stress, emotional stress can lead to opposing effects depending on the degree, context, and controllability of the stressors. Conclusions Overall, the present review highlights the need to consider the various factors that can influence enhancing or impairing effects of emotion on cognition, in studies investigating emotion-cognition interactions. These issues are important for understanding mechanisms of emotion-cognition interactions not only in healthy functioning but also in emotional disturbances, where these opposing effects of emotion are exacerbated and deleterious.

Translated title of the contributionDissociating between enhancing and impairing effects of emotion on cognition
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)15-34
Number of pages20
JournalSante Mentale au Quebec
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Affective disorders
  • Attention
  • Emotion
  • Emotional distraction
  • Emotional memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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