Implanting False Memories

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Something we discussed this past week is how our memory doesn't always serve us correctly, and how consciously we aren't even aware this. Our brain is capable of remembering things that maybe didn't happen and we rarely notice this glitch in the system. Most people would assume that false memories would not assist science in any way of research, but it turns out using suggestive memory techniques are used more often then we think.
Suggestive memory techniques are procedures that encourage people to recall things that never happened. For example, as we discussed in class just by changing a word from hit to smashed in a story of a car accident, the people who heard smashed claimed they saw broken glass in the picture when there wasn't any. Now is this considered lying? Or how does one determine if it was intended as a lie or just "miss-remembered." The article here demonstrates examples of how this suggestive memory technique is used and how false memories occur.
I personally wonder how in certain court instances one is able to decipher lies form these incorrect memories. And also if a lawyer is trained well enough, could they convince someone innocent into pleading themselves guilty just by manipulating memories? That is a scary thought, since there is no exact way to protect a person from this happening to them. For reasons listed above it is undeniable the power of our mind and memories. However, if this technique can be used for the negative couldn't it also be applicable for the positive. Potentially helping a patient suffering from childhood abuse or something related, could implanting other memories help heal those wounds? Looking at all the wonders our memories serve I couldn't put it past science to find a way. I only hope the positive is more prevalent than the negative in this situation. Elizabeth Loftus in the video below explains the process of implanting these memories.

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This page contains a single entry by jeske035 published on October 23, 2011 4:10 PM.

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