[Paleopsych] BH: False Memory Creation Recorded
checker at panix.com
Wed Feb 2 21:43:36 UTC 2005
False Memory Creation Recorded
Brain imaging reveals biology of faulty eyewitness accounts
2/1/2005 1:11 PM
Brain imaging has provided insight into faulty eyewitness accounts.
Research has shown that people's memories of complex events can be
altered by misleading information provided after the event has
Using noninvasive brain imaging methods, Yoko Akado and Craig Stark
of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland have now looked
deeper into this process by examining how the brain encodes
misinformation when creating a false memory.
Misleading slide show
For the study, participants were first shown a slide show of a man
stealing a woman's wallet and then hiding behind a door.
They were then shown a slightly different slide show and told it was
the same sequence.
Two days later, participants took a memory test in which they were
asked to recall details of the slide show and which of the two
presentations contained the information.
Stark and Akado found that participants' brain activity predicted
whether their memories would be accurate or false.
For memories falsely associated with the first slide show when viewing
the second, the researchers found that there was weaker activity in
particular brain areas such as the prefrontal cortex.
The researchers suggest that activity in the prefrontal cortex is
linked with encoding memory context.
Weak activity during the misinformation phase therefore suggests that
the details of the second experience were poorly placed in context and
as a result more easily confused.
The research is reported in the journal Learning & Memory.
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