Confabulation: Knowledge and recollective experience
Abstract In this study we report an amnesic patient who exhibited confabulatory behaviour. Neuropsychological examination showed a normal global intellectual efficiency (I.Q. = 100) and a global memory performance that fell at the lower limits of the normal (M.Q. = 87). A battery was constructed and employed in order to evaluate both the patient's performance on episodic memory and other kinds of retrograde memory tasks and to detect confabulatory responses. It was found that confabulations were restricted to episodic memory (which was severely affected) and to orientation in time and place, and tended to be persistent and consistent throughout different testing sessions. By contrast, semantic memory was normal. Confabulations were accompanied by the subjective experience of remembering. Confabulatory behaviour is discussed in terms of a possible disruption of mechanisms that normally monitor the interaction between semantic knowledge and conscious awareness of remembering.