A group of scientists from Germany and the UK have for the first time found a way to fix false autobiographical memories without damaging the real ones.
Psychologists conducted a study of childhood memories, which involved 52 volunteers. Their parents also collaborated with scientists to implant two false memories into the children in a special way. During the experiment, participants were asked to name events from their childhood. As a result, 40% of the volunteers spoke about the memories imposed by their parents as if they were their own.
There are two ways to get rid of false memories. The first way is to reflect on the fact that the story of events is often not based on personal experience. Often he relies on photographs, as well as the words of loved ones. Therefore, it is important to find the source of each memory, scientists emphasize. The second strategy claims that repeated requests to remember something form false memories.
Study leader Hartmut Blanka said that by raising awareness and pushing people to critically rethink their memories, the team was able to free participants from believing in non-existent facts from their lives.
Psychologists believe that they have achieved extremely important results, since false memories lead to serious consequences. So, they can cause erroneous accusations in court.
Previously, scientists have explained the effect of deja vu. It is based on the semantic similarity of concepts in the proposed chain. Our brain for better perception and memorization often groups memories according to certain criteria, which is why we experience the effect of deja vu.