Emotional hangover, or how what happens to you today will affect you tomorrow

A recent scientific investigation has confirmed the existence of the 'emotional hangover', that is to say, the process by which the facts that are lived on a day-to-day basis have repercussions in the future even if they were believed to be outdated.

Influence of internal states

According to the Department of Psychology and the Center of Neural Sciences of the University of New York, the way in which the different events that a person lives affects him is not only marked by external factors. The specialists also assure that the internal state of the individuals has great repercussion in how they affect these experiences to the future.

According to this group of researchers the 'emotional hangoverIt is capable of greatly altering the way in which the events of the future are lived and even imbuing psychic or physiological states, even when it was thought that these facts were overcome. To demonstrate this hypothesis, those responsible for this work exposed several subjects to different images.


On the one hand, the researchers showed the subjects Photographs able to provoke in them a certain emotional state. After this exhibition, the patients waited for a period of time between 10 and 30 minutes to see other neutral images. After this they let themselves spend 6 hours and asked these people about what they remember best.

More memory of emotional images

As the specialists had predicted, the emotional images were the most easily remembered these patients. As the brain scans showed, this occurred because these photographs activated areas that helped to remember more easily because they were accompanied by certain sensations.


"Emotion is a state of mind." These discoveries show that our cognition is strongly influenced by previous experiences and, specifically, that emotional brain states can persist for long periods of time, "explains Dr. Lila Davachi, one of the people in charge of This studio.

In addition this influence of emotions accompanied by images also caused that even the images could be remember better. In those cases where the patients visualized the emotional photographs first, there was a better memory of the neutrals. As the researchers indicate, this is because the visualization of the former activates the area of ​​the brain responsible for the memories.

Influence in the future

In this way the emotional hangover is proven. That is to say, an event that marks us in the present is capable of influencing us in the future when we face similar situations. That is to say, the way in which we live the different events of our life is marked to a large extent by the emotions that caused us previously similar circumstances.


Damián Montero

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