Spontaneous confabulation, temporal context confusion and reality monitoring: a study of three patients with anterior communicating artery aneurysms

Lisa Cipolotti, Tim Shallice, Lisa Cipolotti, Martha S. Turner

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15 Citazioni (Scopus)


Spontaneous confabulation involves the production of false or distorted memories, and is commonly associated withventromedial prefrontal damage. One infl uential theory proposes that the critical defi cit is a failure to suppress currentlyirrelevant memory traces that intrude into ongoing thinking (Schnider & Ptak, 1999). In this study, we report experimentalinvestigations with three spontaneously confabulating patients aimed at exploring this account. Using Schnider andPtak’s (1999) continuous recognition paradigm, we replicated their experimental results with our patients. However, ourdata suggest that the critical impairment might be more generalized than a failure to suppress currently irrelevantmemories. First, a temporal source monitoring task failed to show that previous memory traces intrude into the present.Second, a reality monitoring task revealed that confabulating patients had a tendency to misidentify imagined events asreal, a result that cannot be explained in terms of temporal confusion. This error was specifi c to confabulating patientsand was not shared by non-confabulating ACoA patients. Our data therefore suggest a more generalized impairment insource monitoring, not only on the basis of temporality or current relevance, but across a range of contextual domains,including information used to distinguish real memories from imaginings. ( JINS , 2010, 16 , 984– 994 .)
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)984-994
Numero di pagine11
RivistaJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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