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False memories show up in the brain
Nature News ^ | 6 November 2007 | Heidi Ledford

Posted on 11/07/2007 11:32:25 PM PST by neverdem

Your brain can distinguish between real and fake memories, even if you can’t.

Tell the truth: our brain can sometimes reveal if our memories are real or false.stockbyteIt’s a common situation: you’re embroiled in an argument over a fact and you know for certain that you have the right answer. But when someone rushes to their laptop to google the correct answer, you discover that you were wrong.

Whether in a fight with a spouse or giving testimony on the witness stand, it is clear that our memories are not always trustworthy. Now, researchers have found that although those vivid false memories may seem indistinguishable from true memories to you, but they are sometimes processed by different parts of the brain1.

The results could one day be used to devise an early test for Alzheimer’s disease, or to assess the accuracy of witness testimony, says study author Roberto Cabeza, a neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Cabeza and Hongkeun Kim of Daegu University in South Korea asked 11 people to read lists of words that fall into a certain category, such as ‘farm animals’. The subjects were later asked whether specific words had occurred on the original lists, while functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure the changes in blood flow to different areas of their brains. The participants were also asked to say how confident they were in their answers.

The researchers found that when study participants had confidence in their answer and they were correct, blood flow increased to the medial temporal lobes located near the dividing line between halves of the brain. This region of the brain contains the hippocampus, and is important for memory.

But when subjects had confidence in their answer but were wrong (which happened up to 20% of the time depending on the circumstances), the frontoparietal region lit up. Those regions are associated with what Cabeza calls a sense of “familiarity”.

Don’t I know you? Familiarity is a general feeling that an event has happened in the past, even though you can’t recall the specific details, such as when you are sure you have seen someone before, but can’t remember her name or how you know her. “It’s basically an empty feeling,” says Cabeza. “In the case of true memories, you have real details to retrieve.”

Previous work with brain injury patients has shown that familiarity and recollection are separate things, which can be affected independently. True recollection declines as we age, while the capacity for remembering familiarity remains intact.

But this pattern does not hold true in Alzheimer’s patients, notes Cabeza. “In Alzheimer’s patients, we see a deficit in both kinds of memory,” says Cabeza. So he suggests that measures of brain activity connected to familiarity could be used as an early diagnosis for the disease.

Accuracy and confidence Such brain scans may one day help to distinguish real memories from false ones on the witness stand, Cabeza says. Brain scans like these have previously been suggested for use in distinguishing people who know they are lying from those who know they are telling the truth. It could also help to distinguish accidental lies from the truth, this study suggests.

But the scans aren’t as clear cut as one might hope them to be. Another kind of memory, called ‘phantom recollection’, occurs when your brain provides you with false details appropriated from other memories: for example, if you saw a woman and not only felt certain that you had met her before, but also mistakenly ‘knew’ that her name is Sheila and she went to college with you. Phantom recollections occur less frequently than false memories, but they can activate the medial temporal lobe just as true memories do, says Cabeza.

For Valerie Reyna, a cognitive neuroscientist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, the results underscore the fact that judges and juries should not use a witness’s confidence in their own answers as a signal that the answers are more likely to be true. “It is really surprising, but there is a very weak relation between accuracy and confidence,” she says.

References Kim, H. & Cabeza, R. Journal of Neuroscience doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3408-07.2007 (2007).


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brain; fakerape; falsememories; imaging; liar; memories; memory; science

1 posted on 11/07/2007 11:32:26 PM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
The results could one day be used to devise an early test for Alzheimer’s Democrats disease

That explains how they think the Clinton Economy was more than a bubble.

2 posted on 11/07/2007 11:36:50 PM PST by Berlin_Freeper (ETERNAL SHAME on the Treasonous and Immoral Democrats!)
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To: neverdem
Now, researchers have found that although those vivid false memories may seem indistinguishable from true memories to you, but they are sometimes processed by different parts of the brain1.

If the writer can't get a sentence right, I'm skeptical.

3 posted on 11/07/2007 11:41:19 PM PST by Just Lori (There is nothing democrat-"ic" about democrats.)
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To: neverdem

“Such brain scans may one day help to distinguish real memories from false ones on the witness stand, Cabeza says. Brain scans like these have previously been suggested for use in distinguishing people who know they are lying from those who know they are telling the truth. It could also help to distinguish accidental lies from the truth, this study suggests.”

All potential members of Congress should be required to have one of these.

I wonder if it would be able to ascertain if a lie caused by the self-protection mechanism is so ingrained in the brain of someone with a personality order that it cannot be changed. When a lie is the only truth possible.


4 posted on 11/07/2007 11:52:30 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: neverdem

I thought I had read this before


5 posted on 11/07/2007 11:52:45 PM PST by Squidpup ("Fight the Good Fight")
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To: Squidpup

How confident were you of that?


6 posted on 11/08/2007 12:04:36 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Thought Police: How Brain Scans Could Invade Your Private Life

Research indicates dogs have some ability to read minds

In the Lab: Device Could Help Doctors and Smokers

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

7 posted on 11/08/2007 12:06:40 AM PST by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: sageb1
All potential members of Congress should be required to have one of these.

Great idea. I like the idea of testing them for drug & alcohol abuse too.

8 posted on 11/08/2007 12:20:32 AM PST by pandoraou812 ( Its NOT for the good of the children! Its BS along with bending over for Muslim's demands)
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To: Berlin_Freeper
That explains how they think the Clinton Economy was more than a bubble.

Especially the recession started by the 93 tax increases. They don't like it when you bring that memory into a conversation.

9 posted on 11/08/2007 12:31:25 AM PST by woofer (Earth First! We'll mine the other eight later.)
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To: neverdem
says study author Roberto Cabeza, a neuroscientist

So Dr. Cabeza studies the brain. Coincidence? I think not.

For you Spanish-deprived out there, cabeza means "head". Which may make you now wonder about that Spanish explorer you read about in school, Cabeza de Vaca. Don't ask....Or was it some other explorer, I don't recall. I am certain, it was Cabeza de Vaca.

10 posted on 11/08/2007 12:55:47 AM PST by Defiant ("Expectorate" has Specter in it.)
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To: Defiant

“Cabeza de Vaca means “head of cow”. This surname was granted to his family in the 13th century, when his ancestor aided a Christian army attacking Moors by pointing out a secret pass through the mountains by leaving a cow’s head there. In the prologue to his great story relating his shipwreck and wanderings in North America, he refers to his forefather’s service to the King, and regrets that his own deeds could not be as great, due to forces beyond his control.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81lvar_N%C3%BA%C3%B1ez_Cabeza_de_Vaca


11 posted on 11/08/2007 2:30:08 AM PST by Squidpup ("Fight the Good Fight")
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To: neverdem

This is really cool!

I’ve always loved that Star Trek device (original series) which was activated during legal testimony ... “subject relating accurate information - no physiological changes” or something like that. It would be so great to have a device like that available - it would certainly have been helpful during the ‘Toon’s testimony in the Flowers case, etc. Can you imagine having such a device active during political debates? Congressional testimony? Congressional speeches?

This discovery may actually lead to some thing extremely useful!


12 posted on 11/08/2007 2:41:53 AM PST by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: neverdem

bookmark


13 posted on 11/08/2007 4:14:11 AM PST by GOP Poet
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To: neverdem
The results could one day be used...to assess the accuracy of witness testimony, says study author Roberto Cabeza, a neuroscientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

"This could be a problem. Let's invite Cabeza to a picnic at Fort Marcy Park."


14 posted on 11/08/2007 4:19:21 AM PST by COBOL2Java (The Democrat Party: radical Islam's last hope)
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To: AFPhys
I’ve always loved that Star Trek device (original series) which was activated during legal testimony ... "subject relating accurate information - no physiological changes" or something like that. It would be so great to have a device like that available - it would certainly have been helpful during the 'Toon’s testimony in the Flowers case, etc.

Clinton would cause such a device to overload, burn out, and explode (much like Captain Kirk did to various world-controlling computers).

Can you imagine having such a device active during political debates? Congressional testimony? Congressional speeches?

Preferably with an attachment to give the speaker an electrical shock when he got caught in a lie.

15 posted on 11/08/2007 5:39:52 AM PST by steve-b (It's hard to be religious when certain people don't get struck by lightning.)
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To: neverdem
False memories show up in the brain

NARF!!

Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?

16 posted on 11/08/2007 5:44:08 AM PST by Tanniker Smith ("What're we doing tomorrow night, Brain?""Same thing we do every night. Try to take over the world!")
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To: Squidpup
That is very interesting. I had always wondered how someone got the name "head of cow". Very interesting.

The Spanish method of winning their country back from the Moors will be, I fear, the model for Europe if they ever decide to resist sharia law. It will someday be too late to just kick them all out, and they will have to fight for Christendom.

17 posted on 11/08/2007 8:02:56 AM PST by Defiant ("Expectorate" has Specter in it.)
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To: neverdem; AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; ...

I could have sworn I’d read this before, then found an article that said the exact opposite. Thanks demnever.


18 posted on 11/08/2007 8:44:27 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, November 8, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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Thought Police: How Brain Scans Could Invade Your Private Life
(Machines Read Your Mind)
Popular Mechanics | November 2007 | Jeff Wise
Posted on 11/07/2007 9:30:31 PM EST by Recovering_Democrat
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1922569/posts


19 posted on 11/08/2007 8:46:09 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, November 8, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: neverdem

Most interesting.


20 posted on 11/08/2007 9:02:06 AM PST by Ciexyz
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To: steve-b
Preferably with an attachment to give the speaker an electrical shock when he got caught in a lie.

There'd be a lot of fried politicians.. but that would not be a Bad Thing.

21 posted on 11/08/2007 4:26:03 PM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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