Cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying false memories: misinformation, distortion or erroneous configuration?

Antonio G. Lentoor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

Errors can affect our memory, yet even when there are gaps in our recollection of events, memory often serves us fairly well. Memory formation involves at least three different sub-processes, that are regulated by an underlying neural structure. From a cognitive neuropsychological perspective, a complex process of encoding, consolidating, and retrieval is involved in remembering an event, and it might be hindered by one’s emotional state, physiological response to the event itself, and misinformation. As a result, it is very likely that one may struggle to remember specifics of what happened which can increase our susceptibility to the formation of false memories. This has major implications for everyday functioning, as in the case when you mistakenly remember you took your pills when you never did, or where errors have led to false accusations about trauma or abuse, and wrongful convictions of crimes. Memories sometimes contain biases and inaccuracies that prevent them from accurately recalling events. The review will provide an updated overview of current research advances on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying inaccurate, distorted, or false memories.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-268
Number of pages14
JournalAIMS Neuroscience
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • anterior prefrontal cortex
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • erroneous recall
  • false memory
  • hippocampo-neocortical circuits
  • mis-remember
  • misinformation
  • neural mechanism
  • neuropsychology
  • true memory

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