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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Sep;14(9):649-658. doi: 10.1038/nrn3563. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

The neuroscience of memory: implications for the courtroom.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA 91702.
2
Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and Department of Neurobiology and Behavior University of California, Irvine Irvine, CA 92697-3800.
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Contributed equally

Abstract

Although memory can be hazy at times, it is often assumed that memories of violent or otherwise stressful events are so well encoded that they are effectively indelible and that confidently retrieved memories are almost certainly accurate. However, findings from basic psychological research and neuroscience studies indicate that memory is a reconstructive process that is susceptible to distortion. In the courtroom, even minor memory distortions can have severe consequences that are partly driven by common misunderstandings about memory--for example, that memory is more veridical than it may actually be.

PMID:
23942467
PMCID:
PMC4183265
DOI:
10.1038/nrn3563
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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