2012 Volume 55 Issue 2 Pages 131-145
It is widely recognized that human memory is an imperfect process that sometimes causes various kinds of distortions and illusions. Recently, some light has been shed on the brain mechanisms involved in this false memory phenomenon as a result of research into its neural basis embarked on by cognitive neuroscientists. This article reviews neuroimaging studies that have attempted to distinguish between true and false memory retrieval. It also reviews neuroimaging studies that have measured neural activity during encoding and addresses the question of whether the encoding-related neural activity predicts subsequent memory distortions. Finally, there is a brief discussion from the cognitive neuroscience perspective about whether the memory distortion reflects deficient cognitive processing or is a by-product of adaptive cognitive processing.