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Conscious Cogn. 2011 Dec;20(4):1127-34. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.03.005. Epub 2011 Mar 27.

False recognition in women with a history of childhood emotional neglect and diagnose of recurrent major depression.

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Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Postgraduate Program in Psychology - Human Cognition, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Brazil.


While previous research has suggested that adults with a history of childhood sexual abuse may be more prone to produce false memories, little is known about the consequences of childhood neglect on basic memory processes. For this reason, the authors investigated how a group of women with a history of childhood emotional neglect (CEN) and diagnosed with recurrent Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) performed on the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm in comparison to control groups. The results indicated that women with MDD and CEN were actually less prone to produce false memories relative to both women with MDD but no CEN and healthy women without MDD and any form of childhood maltreatment. These findings were explained in terms of the inability to extract/retrieve gist memories that support false recognition of critical lures, an explanation that seems to fit well with emerging MRI findings linking childhood neglect to reduced volume of brain regions associated to memory function.

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