Psychophysiology of false memories in a Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm with visual scenes.

TitlePsychophysiology of false memories in a Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm with visual scenes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBaioui, A, Ambach, W, Walter, B, Vaitl, D
JournalPLoS One
Date Published2012
KeywordsAdult, Female, Fingers, Heart Rate, Humans, Linear Models, Male, Memory, Neuropsychological Tests, Psychomotor Performance, Psychophysiology, Pulse, Recognition (Psychology), Repression, Psychology, Respiration, Skin Physiological Phenomena, Visual Perception, Young Adult

Remembering something that has not in fact been experienced is commonly referred to as false memory. The Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm is a well-elaborated approach to this phenomenon. This study attempts to investigate the peripheral physiology of false memories induced in a visual DRM paradigm. The main research question is whether false recognition is different from true recognition in terms of accompanying physiological responses.Sixty subjects participated in the experiment, which included a study phase with visual scenes each showing a group of interrelated items in social contexts. Subjects were divided into an experimental group undergoing a classical DRM design and a control group without DRM manipulation. The control group was implemented in order to statistically control for possible biases produced by memorability differences between stimulus types. After a short retention interval, a pictorial recognition phase was conducted in the manner of a Concealed Information Test. Simultaneous recordings of electrodermal activity, respiration line length, phasic heart rate, and finger pulse waveform length were used. Results yielded a significant Group by Item Type interaction, showing that true recognition is accompanied by greater electrodermal activity than false recognition.Results are discussed in the light of Sokolov's Orienting Reflex, the Preliminary Process Theory and the Concealed Information Test. Implications and restrictions of the introduced design features are critically discussed. This study demonstrates the applicability of measures of peripheral physiology to the field of false memory research.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID22272347
PubMed Central IDPMC3260301