Comparing the Cognitive Mechanisms of False Memories with the Misinformation and DRM Paradigms
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Many methodologies have been used to generate false memories, with the misinformation (MI) paradigm and the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm being the most commonly studied. The MI paradigm generates false memories based on retroactive interference across episodes, while the DRM paradigm generates false memories based on semantic similarities across stimuli. Since current research is ambiguous about whether the processes for different types of false memories are similar, the purpose of this project was to compare the neural mechanisms between MI and DRM false memories. We used a novel paradigm to limit methodological differences, while maintaining the defining characteristics of each paradigm. We made ERP predictions for false memories in both paradigms based on four current cognitive theories of false memories: fuzzy-trace theory, spreading activation/monitoring theory, global matching models, and source of activation confusion (SAC) model. We found no LPC, FN400, or N2 neural differences between the two types of false memories. This result is discussed in the context of the theories and the implications about our understanding of false memories. Our results support that there may not be mechanistic differences in false memory recollection when paradigms to produce the false memories are similar.
- Doctoral Dissertations