Human emotion and memory: Interactions of the amygdala and hippocampal complex

Elizabeth A. Phelps

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The amygdala and hippocampal complex, two medial temporal lobe structures, are linked to two independent memory systems, each with unique characteristic functions. In emotional situations, these two systems interact in subtle but important ways. Specifically, the amygdala can modulate both the encoding and the storage of hippocampal-dependent memories. The hippocampal complex, by forming episodic representations of the emotional significance and interpretation of events, can influence the amygdala response when emotional stimuli are encountered. Although these are independent memory systems, they act in concert when emotion meets memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-202
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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