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The Memory ProcessNeuroscientific and Humanistic Perspectives$
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Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014571

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014571.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Confabulations about Personal Memories, Normal and Abnormal

Confabulations about Personal Memories, Normal and Abnormal

(p.217) 10Confabulations about Personal Memories, Normal and Abnormal
The Memory Process

William Hirstein

The MIT Press

This chapter examines two neurological syndromes that gave rise to the concept of confabulation: Korsakoff's syndrome and aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery. These syndromes are then compared with false memory syndrome, which can affect normal children and adults. The connections between the neurological phenomenon of confabulation and normal memory errors can provide insights into the complex functions of memory. The notion of confabulation being an attempt to maintain a coherent identity over time—a notion that has been present in philosophical thought since the time of Locke—is also discussed here, and it is examined whether there is a tangible relationship between memory and identity. Confabulations are also related to knowledge in that they can be defined as flawed knowledge claims generated by malfunctioning brain processes.

Keywords:   neurological syndromes, confabulation, Korsakoff's syndrome, aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery, false memory syndrome, neurological phenomenon, memory errors, coherent identity, flawed knowledge claims, malfunctioning brain processes

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