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Emotional memory: From patient to synapse

Summer School 2012

Memory for emotionally arousing and stressful experiences is strong and resistant to change. From an evolutionary perspective it is extremely functional to never forget the most important events in life. However, emotional memory may also become harmful and maladaptive such as in patients with anxiety disorders.

From June 18 to June 29 the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam organizes an interdisciplinary Summer School on Emotional Memory for graduate students (i.e., master and beginning PhD-students). The aim of the Summer School is to capture both the functional and dysfunctional aspects of emotional memory. State-of-the-art approaches to studying emotional memory will be highlighted from multiple disciplines (i.e., clinical psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, and biology). A number of key themes will be covered such as the phenomenology of emotional memory in patients with anxiety disorders and the neurobiology and neural underpinnings of fear memory (re)consolidation.


During the first eight days of the Summer School, international renowned researchers will give a number of tutorials on various topics regarding emotional memory. Students will also have to prepare a research proposal and a poster. Preparation will be carried out in small groups and will be supervised by researchers.

The last two days consist of a Symposium that can be attended separately from the rest of the Summer School. During the Symposium (inter)national experts will present their most recent work and engage in debates that reflect currently ‘hot’ issues in the field. Students will participate in a parliamentary style debate defending different positions. Based on prior experience we anticipate that this will be a highly interesting and stimulating event. On Thursday June 28th, Dr. LaBar will give a keynote lecture (i.e., the honorary Frijda lecture) that can also be attended separate from the Summer School. Dr. LaBar is one of the leading researchers on the neural underpinnings of emotional memory.


  • Dr. Merel Kindt - University of Amsterdam,  Emotional Memory and Anxiety Disorders
  • Dr. Rick Richardson - University of New South Wales, Fear Conditioning and Extinction
  • Dr. Alfons Hamm - Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität Greifswald, Multiple Memory Systems
  • Dr. Oliver Wolf - Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Stress Hormones and Emotional Memory
  • Dr. Oliver Hardt - McGill University, Neurobiology of (Re)consolidation
  • Dr. Matthew Walker - University of California Berkeley, Sleep and Consolidation of Emotional Memory
  • Dr. Glenn Schafe - Yale University, Epigenetics and Synaptic Plasticity of Emotional Memory
  • Dr. Kevin LaBar - Duke University, Neural Underpinnings of Emotional Memory


Prof. dr. Merel Kindt - University of Amsterdam
Dr. Marieke Soeter - University of Amsterdam