Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

An Amnesic Patient With An Extraordinary Distorted Memory

Date:
May 14, 2009
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
If somebody asks you “Do you remember what you did on March 13, 1985?” you are very likely to answer “I don’t know”, even if your memory is excellent. Researchers have now been studying a patient with severe amnesia reported detailed false memories in answering this type of question.

If somebody asks you “Do you remember what you did on March 13, 1985?” you are very likely to answer “I don’t know”, even if your memory is excellent. In a study conducted by Dalla Barba and Decaix from the Institut National de la Sant้ et de la Recherche M้dicale and the Department of Neurology of the H๔pital Saint Antoine in Paris and published by Elsevier in the May 2009 issue of Cortex researchers found that a patient with severe amnesia reported detailed false memories in answering this type of question.

People with normal memories are unable to answer this type of question because it is beyond their memory capacity. This is the first reported case of a pathological condition that the authors of the article named ‘Confabulatory Hyperamnesia’.

Patient LM, described in this study, is a 68-year-old man, who, following more than 30 years of heavy drinking, developed Korsakoff’s syndrome, a condition characterized by severe amnesia and confabulation, the unintentional production of false memories by amnesic patients who are unaware of their memory deficits. Patients who confabulate produce more or less plausible false memories answering questions like “What did you do yesterday?” or “How did you spend your last vacation?”, but, just like people with normal memory, they answer “I don’t know” to questions like “Do you remember what you did on March 13, 1985”. What makes LM different from other confabulators is his unusual tendency to consistently provide a confabulatory answer to this type of questions. He would say, for example, that on March 13, 1985 he spent the day at the Senart Forest (a place where he used to go often with his family) or that he could remember that on the first day of summer in 1979 he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt.

LM’s confabulatory hyperamnesia could not be traced back to any specific pattern of brain damage and the MRI brain scan was unremarkable. The authors conclude that LM shows an expanded consciousness of his past, a consciousness which has surpassed the limits of time and details.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dalla Barba et al. “Do you remember what you did on March 13, 1985?” A case study of confabulatory hypermnesia. Cortex, 2009; 45 (5): 566 DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2008.03.009

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "An Amnesic Patient With An Extraordinary Distorted Memory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513091522.htm>.
Elsevier. (2009, May 14). An Amnesic Patient With An Extraordinary Distorted Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513091522.htm
Elsevier. "An Amnesic Patient With An Extraordinary Distorted Memory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090513091522.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) — The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) — The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) — No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins