NewSci on confabulation and memory distortion

newsci_20061007.jpgThere’s an interesting cover story in today’s New Scientist about the neuropsychology of confabulation – the curious condition where patients give completely false narratives of situations that they think they remember.

The condition is usually associated with brain injury, often to the frontal lobes. In contrast to delusions, these false narratives are not usually fixed, so you might get different false memories given in answer to the same question asked several times.

Sadly, the NewSci article is not freely available online, so you’ll need to pick up a copy at your local library or newsagent if you want to read it.

However, the article is largely a summary of William Hirstein’s recent book Brain Fiction that tackles the subject in some depth (although a little haphazardly in places it has to be said – I’m still baffled as to why he specifically singles-out Capgras delusion as a form of confabulation).

There is much excellent reading inside though, and the first chapter of the book (entitled ‘What is confabulation?’) is freely available online if you want to get a better idea about this condition.

Link to details of Brain Fiction with sample chapter.
Link to intro to the NewSci article.

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