Impact Factor
This article is part of the Research Topic Progress in Episodic Memory Research


Front. Behav. Neurosci., 24 April 2014 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00131

Episodic memories in anxiety disorders: clinical implications

  • 1Mental Health Research and Treatment Center, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany
  • 2Center for Psychological Consultation and Psychotherapy, Georg-August University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
  • 3UMR 7102, Neurobiologie des Processus Adaptatifs, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

The aim of this review is to summarize research on the emerging role of episodic memories in the context of anxiety disorders (AD). The available literature on explicit, autobiographical, and episodic memory function in AD including neuroimaging studies is critically discussed. We describe the methodological diversity of episodic memory research in AD and discuss the need for novel tests to measure episodic memory in a clinical setting. We argue that alterations in episodic memory functions might contribute to the etiology of AD. We further explain why future research on the interplay between episodic memory function and emotional disorders as well as its neuroanatomical foundations offers the promise to increase the effectiveness of modern psychological treatments. We conclude that one major task is to develop methods and training programs that might help patients suffering from AD to better understand, interpret, and possibly actively use their episodic memories in a way that would support therapeutic interventions and counteract the occurrence of symptoms.

Keywords: episodic memory, autobiographical memory, cognitive behavioral therapy, anxiety disorders, explicit memory, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorder

Citation: Zlomuzica A, Dere D, Machulska A, Adolph D, Dere E and Margraf J (2014) Episodic memories in anxiety disorders: clinical implications. Front. Behav. Neurosci. 8:131. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00131

Received: 23 October 2013; Accepted: 31 March 2014;
Published online: 24 April 2014.

Edited by:

Angelica Staniloiu, University of Bielefeld, Germany

Reviewed by:

Kevin D. Beck, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, USA
Kristina Hennig-Fast, University of Vienna, Austria

Copyright: © 2014 Zlomuzica, Dere, Machulska, Adolph, Dere and Margraf. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Armin Zlomuzica, Mental Health Research and Treatment Center, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Massenbergstr. 9-13, Bochum 44787, Germany e-mail: armin.zlomuzica@rub.de