johnson_memory_reality_06 - Nolde, S. F., Johnson, M. K.,...

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Unformatted text preview: Nolde, S. F., Johnson, M. K., & Raye, C. L. (1998). The role of prefrontal cortex during tests of episodic memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2, 399–406. Memory and Reality Marcia K. Johnson Yale University Although it may be disconcerting to contemplate, true and false memories arise in the same way. Memories are attributions that we make about our mental experiences based on their subjective qualities, our prior knowledge and beliefs, our motives and goals, and the social context. This article describes an approach to studying the nature of these mental experiences and the constructive encoding, revival, and evaluative processes involved (the source monitoring framework ). Cognitive behavioral studies using both objective (e.g., recognition, source memory) and subjective (e.g., ratings of memory characteristics) measures and neuroimaging findings are helping to clarify the complex relation between memory and reality. Keywords: reality monitoring, source monitoring, false memory, prefrontal cortex, medial temporal lobe When I was a college freshman, during dinner with friends and my parents, I was reminded of an incident from when I was about 5 years old and recounted it: My family was driving through the central valley in Califor- nia when we had a flat tire. My father took the tire off the car and hitchhiked up the road to get the tire patched. My mother, brother, sister, and I waited in the hot car. We got very thirsty and finally my sister took a couple of empty pop bottles and walked up the road to a farmhouse. The woman explained there was a drought and she had only a little bot- tled water left. She set aside a glass of water for her little boy and filled my sister’s pop bottles with the rest. My sister re- turned to the car, we drank the water, and I remembered feel- ing guilty that we didn’t save any for my father (Johnson, 1985). When I finished, my parents laughed. They said we did take a trip during a drought, had a flat, and my father did go get it fixed. The rest of us waited a long time in the car, my sister complained about the heat, but nobody went any- where for water. Evidently, what I had done at the time was imagine a solution to our problem, simultaneously get- ting rid of my fussy sister and getting us something to drink. In remembering the incident years later, I confused the products of my perceptual experience with the products of my imagination—I had a failure in reality monitoring , or a false memory (Johnson, 1977, 1988; Johnson & Raye, 1981, 1998). Of course, people not only monitor the difference be- tween perception and imagination, they monitor the origin of information derived from various sources (e.g., different perceptual sources, one’s own thoughts vs. one’s actions); thus, Johnson, Hashtroudi, and Lindsay (1993) proposed source monitoring as a more general term. Examples of reality or source monitoring failures illustrate the diverse contexts in which they arise. For example, when Ronald Reagan was president, he publicly recounted a story about...
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course CLP 7934 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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johnson_memory_reality_06 - Nolde, S. F., Johnson, M. K.,...

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