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Confused Memory Retrieval

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Spontaneous confabulations

This is fascinating; there are 3 different types of confabulations Spontaneous, momentary and other false forms of memories. It’s related to traumas to the brain and includes Alzheimer’s disease, basically it refers to inaccurate or false memories arising from neurological diseases of the brain, in Dementia this would be frontotemporal dementia. An example would be when I am talking about something from my past, I get events muddled up to the point where I am referring to a completely different time period and story. So I went on holiday to Morocco with my Mum last week (I am 83) and I describe the trip in quite a bit of detail and also mix into this recollections of other memories jumbling them all into one account. This is a spontaneous outpouring of muddled and inaccurate recollections. So I have just provided a false memory without conscious knowledge of its falsehood.

It is argued that confabulations are the effect of three contributing factors, a vivid imagination, and an inability to retrieve historic memories systematically and source monitoring deficits (a metacognitive process involved in making judgements about original memories, knowledge and beliefs). A knowledge corruption. Studies have shown that these false recollections show a self-serving bias which is greater than encountered in healthy volunteers. Meaning showing a selective bias in distorting the recall of original negative self-image memory although this was also found in healthy individuals showing that past memory is often positive biased.

Momentary confabulations
This is believed to be caused by provocation such as being questioned and probed about your memory. This would include where memory tests are done and patients are asked to recall a story and are pushed to answer. This can cause confusion with events, names and incidents but within this they remain satisfied and happy with their answers unaware of any false recollections. This has been concluded to be a lack of control over memory retrieval.

Other form of false memories
This is due to specific circumstances if lying is a behaviour or habit, quantified as a pathological liar.

For more information please visit dementia care website or call Larchfield House on 01628 639428 and speak to Kelly/Jane. We run regular Dementia Friends session which explain in plain and simple terminology with interactive examples, which really helps to give you a good basic understanding of what happens through the process of Dementia.

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