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Dr. Christian Merz in the RUB SERIES “Unter Druck”: Remembering under stress

A commentary by Dr. Christian Merz:

Under pressure in my everyday research life are my colleagues, students or even myself, although partly for different reasons. We all have in common that in uncertain times we have to learn again and again to deal with new findings and regulations, to forget old ones and to remember everything correctly at the appropriate time – a challenge! At the same time, research – including that at our chair – has already well established that under pressure, as is the case in exam situations, for example, we cannot remember things as well. Among other things, pressure can be subsumed under stress, which releases various messenger substances such as cortisol. However, stress hormones not only reduce memory recall, they also promote the consolidation of newly learned material. That is, our brain stores details of a stressful event very well so that we can remember it all the better later. Corona will probably stay in our memory for a long time!

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