Summary review of Article: McTighe, S., M., Cowell, R. A., Winters, B. D., Bussey, T. J., & Saksida, L. M. (2010). Paradoxical false memory for objects after brain damage. Science, 330, 1408-1410.
This article captures previous research related to brain damage and previous experiments, that have been done in as far as memory and brain damage relationship are concerned (1). Vann and Albasser (2) while citing the works of McTighe et al. (1) define the neural process as the mechanism that allows humans and animals to have episodic memories. These memories are set in such a way that people experience or remember past events throughout their whole lives. The authors also note that this occurrence is not fully understood and has to be completely comprehended in the subsequent research (1). (See also the works of Byme, Becker and Burgers (3) and the works of Vann, Aggleton and Maguire (4) for more details). In the work by Vann and Albasser, it was highlighted that the periphenal lesion rats have the inability to discriminate between old and new objects, which they see. This phenomenon was at first thought to be caused by the inability of these rats to remember previously observed objects (2).
Many researches propose that poor memory can be attributed to the fact that those, who experience poor memory performance, should be having brain damage caused in the near or distant events in their lives (1). This brain damage causes information stored in the memory to become inaccessible or lost altogether (1). In their research McTighe et al. (1) capture some intuitive assumptions that are made detailing that memory impairment can be attributed to incorrect interpretation of events and past experiences, which are considered novel by the brain.
In their experimental research findings, it is noted that while the brain has a tendency of treating otherwise novel experiences as if they are familiar, the opposite is also possible, and repeated experiences may be at times treated as novel. According to McTighe et al. (1) this phenomenon is a paradoxical occurrence, which is based on their animal model of memory recognition of a novel object. In trying to explain these occurrences, McTighe et al. (1) argue that the loss or damage to perirhinal cortex (5) in animals makes the animals unable to comprehensively utilize the unique complex features, which should otherwise be associated with that particular object. They continue to explain that what is left of the whole object being viewed is limited to the utilization of only the stimulus features which in most cases are shared across the board with likewise objects. Such mechanism of perception in the end often results to false recognition (1).
In their research discussion on possible solution to this problem, McTighe et al. (1) propose the use of visual-restrictive procedures. These procedures have the ability to decrease the level of interference. In their support of this proposition, McTighe et al. (1) add to this proposal by claiming that the patterns of data that is recorded in the memory can be understood by utilization of recent representational-hierarchical cognitive views.
1. McTighe, S. M., Cowell, R. A., Winters, B. D., Bussey, T. J., & Saksida, L. M. (2010). Paradoxical false memory for objects after brain damage. Science, 330, 1408-1410.
2. Vann, S. D. & Albasser, M. M. (2011). Hippocampus and neocortex: recognition and spatial memory. Current opinion in Neurobiology 21, 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2011.02.002.
3. Byme, P., Becker, S., & Burgess, N. (2007). Remembering the past and imagining the future: a neural model of spatial memory and imagery. Psychology Review 114, 340-375.
4. Vann, S. D., Aggleton, J. P., & Maguire, E. A. (2009). What does the retrosplenial cortex do? Nat Rev Neuroscience 10, 792-802.
5. Bussey, T. J., Muir, J. L., & Aggleton, J. P. (1999). Functionally Disssociating Aspects of Events Memory: the effects of Combined Perirhinal Cortex lesions on Object and Place Memory in the Rat. The Journal of Neuroscience 19(1), 495-502. Retrieved from http://neuro.cjb.net/content/19/1/495.full