Navigation Links
When less attention improves behavior

Milan, Italy, 21 January 2009 - A new study conducted at the Centre for Studies and Research in Cognitive Neuroscience of the University of Bologna, and published by Elsevier in the February 2009 issue of Cortex ( shows that, in confabulating patients, memory accuracy improves when attentional resources are reduced.

Most cognitive processes supporting adaptive behavior need attentional resources for their operation. Consider memory. If memory was a car, attention would be its fuel: New information is not stored into memory if not attended to, and distraction often leads to misremembering past events. What if the car's brakes are broken? Will adding fuel still be a good thing? Confabulation is a devastating memory disorder consisting in the uncontrolled production of "false memories". Patients often act upon their false memories, with dramatic consequences. The research published in Cortex shows that if memory in confabulation is like a car with broken brakes, then it is best not to add fuel.

The study involved patients with lesions in the prefrontal lobe, including patients with and without confabulation, and healthy individuals. In two experiments, participants retrieved their memories either with full attention or divided attention (i.e., while doing another task). Non-confabulating patients and healthy individuals performed better when their full attention was devoted to the memory task. Not so for confabulating patients: Under full attention, confabulating patients exhibited high false-memory levels, which were strongly reduced when their attention was divided between two tasks.

The results of this study are important both theoretically and practically. First, they indicate that lack of attention during memory retrieval is not the reason for confabulation. Rather, confabulating patients might over-process irrelevant information during mnemonic decisions, and therefore reducing attentional resources available for such a dysfunctional processing enhances memory. Moreover, the results are crucial for developing rehabilitative interventions tailored to confabulating patients. Training them to double-check the accuracy of their memories may not be useful. In fact, these patients should be trained not to attend, and act upon, their mnemonic impressions.


Contact: Valeria Brancolini

Related medicine news :

1. Physicians Express Continued Need for Safe and Effective Nonstimulant Therapies in the Treatment of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
2. Bound by attention: Bringing rats and humans together
3. Attention Seniors: Plans Change. Your Needs Change. Shop and Compare Your Prescription Drug Coverage Now
4. Global Attention to Snakebites Is Unmet
5. VYVANSE provided behavior, inattention and math test score improvements in children with ADHD
6. Release of Universal Film The Express Draws Attention to Tragedy of Lives Cut Short by Blood Cancer
7. Epilepsy Receiving Inadequate Attention
8. Findings on bladder-brain link may point to better treatments for problems in sleep, attention
9. Activity-Linked Heat Illness Needs Prompt Attention
10. Study uncovers how Ritalin works in brain to boost cognition, focus attention
11. Unable to focus? Welcome to our distracted societys attention deficit
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear ... explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The rapid speed at which Americans are ... care is needed, especially with Alzheimer’s, dementia and other cognitive conditions becoming more ... forgotten part of this equation: 80 percent of medical care occurs in the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... An inventor, from Hopkinsville, Ky., ... medications at home, so he invented the patent-pending ELECTRONIC M.D. , The ELECTRONIC ... In doing so, it could help to prevent potential overdose situations. As a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will ... their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head ... “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Viejo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... for use in Final Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can ... or use ProSidebar as a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, ... their offering. --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, Active Wound ... Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast to 2020" ... --> --> The purpose of this ... of the global advanced wound care market. It involves ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the Italian ... Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging Opportunities" report ... --> This new 247-page report ... drug monitoring market, including emerging tests, technologies, instrumentation, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: