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ConfabulationViews from Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Psychology and Philosophy$
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William Hirstein

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208913.001.0001

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Everyday confabulation

Everyday confabulation

(p.203) Chapter 10 Everyday confabulation

Thalia Wheatley

Oxford University Press

The confabulations of patients read like fiction. Capgras patients claim that loved ones have been replaced by imposters, Anton's syndrome patients are blind but claim to see, and asomatognosic patients claim their paralyzed limbs belong to other people. The working of healthy brains seems boringly veridical in comparison: what you see is what you get. However, a wealth of evidence suggests that the healthy brain is far from veridical. In its attempt to create a coherent and predictable world, even basic cognitive processes such as perception and memory are actively constructed, manipulated, and embellished, often without our awareness. This chapter highlights empirical demonstrations of how the healthy brain fills in gaps, alters perceptions of time and space, and subsequently generates false beliefs for the purpose of creating meaning from confusing and often contradictory inputs.

Keywords:   confabulations, confabulatory behaviour, false beliefs, perception, Capgras, Anton's syndrome

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