Neuroimaging of True, False, and Imaginary Memories

Daniel L. Schacter, Jon Chamberlain, Brendan Gaesser and Kathy D. Gerlach

in Memory and Law

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199920754
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950133 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Series in Neuroscience, Law, and Philosophy

Neuroimaging of True, False, and Imaginary Memories

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Episodic memory is prone to errors and distortions that can have important consequences for the law. This chapter considers research that has used functional neuroimaging techniques in an attempt to elucidate the nature and basis of true, false, and imaginary memories. The first section of the chapter discusses evidence showing that functional neuroimaging techniques can distinguish between true and false memories under controlled laboratory conditions. The second section focuses on a related and recently emerging line of work that compares the neural underpinnings of actual episodic memories of past experiences with imagined experiences (episodic simulation) of events that might occur in the future. The third and concluding section of the chapter discusses issues that arise when attempting to generalize results from the laboratory to everyday contexts, along with the possible implications of neuroimaging research on true, false, and imaginary memories for the legal system.

Keywords: true memory; false memory; episodic memory; imaginary memory; episodic simulation; functional neuroimaging; hippocampus

Chapter.  12968 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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