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Self-enhancing confabulation: Revisiting the motivational hypothesis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Daniel Birchall, Dr Stephen Tyrer


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We report a patient who developed spontaneous confabulation following surgical clipping of an anterior communicating artery aneurysm. An autobiographical memory test was used to measure the emotional valence of the patient's self-representations in true and false memories. We found that his confabulations included significantly more positive self-representations than his true memories and that the overall valence of his confabulations was more positive than that of his true memories and than that of the memories of five healthy control participants of the same age and educational attainment. It is proposed that while cognitive dysfunction may explain how confabulations are formed, emotional factors may explain which specific confabulations are constructed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Fotopoulou A, Conway M, Griffiths P, Birchall D, Tyrer S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neurocase

Year: 2007

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Pages: 6-15

Print publication date: 01/02/2007

ISSN (print): 1355-4794

ISSN (electronic): 1362-4970

Publisher: Psychology Press


DOI: 10.1080/13554790601160566

PubMed id: 17454684


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