Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

John Neil Bohannon III


Previous work by Andreano and Cahill (2006) has shown the Cold Pressor Stress (CPS) to enhance memory. A similar enhancement can occur with non-physical stressors. Puga & Bohannon (2013) found emotional slides to have an enhancing effect on preceding information. Although it is clear that physical and visual stressors can enhance memory, it is still unclear whether peripheral or central items are better remembered after arousing situations. Safer et al. (1998) suggested that during encoding, arousal creates a "tunnel memory" effect. Participants accurately remember central items but tend to disregard those in the periphery. The study focused on combined visual and physical stressors and their effects on memory, specifically in terms of perceptual centrality. Immersing their arm in a warm or ice water bath, participants (N==141)viewed a 16 image slideshow. The slideshow consisted of images of various rooms and items around a house, and the critical slide was emotional or non-emotional. A significant slide type by perceptual centrality interaction resulted. More central items from the emotional slide were remembered compared to the number of peripheral items. Participants experienced tunnel memory when exposed to the visual stressor.