- Published: June 5, 2015
Of course, this ability has significant implications for our justice system and eyewitness testimony. According to an article in Nature last year, the medial temporal lobes of the brain shows more activity when someone is recollecting a true memory, whereas the frontoparietal region shows more activity with the recollection of a false memory. Researchers associate this region of the brain with a sense of familiarity, which “is a general feeling that an event has happened in the past, even though you can’t recall the specific details…”
Though I personally feel eyewitness testimony is not nearly as reliable as our current justice system believes it to be, I do not think the use of fMRI to detect false memories is an appropriate method to use right now. The article showed weaknesses with the test, pointing out that phantom recollections – “when your brain provides you with false details appropriated from other memories” – also activate the medial temporal lobes just like a true memory. At most, the experiment highlighted in the article substantiates the need for a decreased dependency on eyewitness testimony.