Online t-shirt retailer and design free-for-all Threadless have just released a t-shirt based on the theme of ‘confabulated memory’.
In neuropsychology, ‘confabulation’ usually refers to a condition where people produce streams of false memories.
It is distinguished from lying in that affected people do not seem to be intentionally trying to deceive. In fact, they seem to have little control over their recall.
Although we all confabulate without realising it to some degree, the clinical condition is most striking after brain injury.
The following example is from a study on a 56 year-old man who developed the condition after brain surgery to remove a tumour.
You were at school together?
We still are.
You and Val? Really? I didn‚Äôt know that. When you say you still are, do you mean you are still at school now?
Well not at school, at university.
Oh. So the two of you are at university together?
Yes. She is doing third year and I am doing computers.
The t-shirt is a wonderful graphic portrayal of this free-wheeling fountain of memories with themes mingling and overlapping in a confused and chaotic state.
Link to Threadless t-shirt ‘Confabulated Memory’.