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:12/1/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Dr. Paul ... Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, has been named by MedEsthetics magazine as the Best Single Physician ... the best among the many elite aesthetic physicians honored by the industry publication. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... CloudLIMS today ... Golden Bridge Business Awards under the New Products and Services category for its ... sample management software that helps labs organize data and track samples ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... must mark the film for accurate interpretation by the radiologist. The marking utensils ... inventor from Sacramento, Calif., has found a way to alleviate this problem. , ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... , ... McLean, VA., December 1, 2015 - Octo Consulting ... agile development contract to support the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) IT Services Directorate. ... infrastructure, as well as operations and sustainment support to the NGA’s Agile Web ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... PartnerTech , a leader in ... since 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North America, currently serves as Director ... amount of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech based in Malmo, Sweden. He ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015 As enforcement of ... Chain Security Act (DSCSA) approaches, InfiniTrak ... independent pharmacies comply with looming FDA regulations. ... is entering endorsement agreements with State Pharmacy Associations, ... administration organization (PSAO) to exclusively provide the InfiniTrak ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... DUBLIN , Dec. 01, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... announced the addition of the "Spinal ... Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015 - 2023" ... ) has announced the addition ... - Pipeline Assessment, Size, Growth, Trends, and ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... -- Royal Philips  (NYSE: PHG, AEX: ... software that produces high-contrast images for all anatomies in ... at the 2015 Radiological Society of North America ... first digital imaging solution providing grid-like contrast improvement and ... and supports "first-time-right imaging" by decreasing the need for ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: