Stressful events activate the amygdala and a network of associated brain regions. Studies in both humans and rodents indicate that noradrenaline has a prominent role in this activation. Noradrenaline induces a hypervigilant state that helps to remember the event. This mnemonic effect is enhanced when the situation is so stressful that substantial amounts of corticosteroids are released and reach the amygdala. The combination of the two hormones leads to optimal strengthening of contacts and thus memory. Yet, rises in corticosteroid levels that are not precisely synchronized with noradrenaline release do not act synergistically but rather prevent or suppress the effect of noradrenaline. This dynamic interaction illustrates the adaptive and potentially protective capacity of corticosteroids regarding traumatic memories.