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Provoked mnemonic confabulation in patients with brain diseases

David Sakić (2016) Provoked mnemonic confabulation in patients with brain diseases. MSc thesis.

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    In the scope of this Master’s thesis, we have studied confabulations, a symptom in some patients with brain diseases. These patients claim and believe something even though third person observers do not agree with them and can offer proof to the contrary. In our study, we focused only on provoked mnemonic confabulations, which we classify as a subgroup of confabulations. We used a structured questionnaire to test patients with various brain diseases to determine whether they show signs of provoked mnemonic confabulations and, if so, how widespread this phenomenon is. We had two hypotheses: (i) confabulations can be provoked and quantified using the Dalla Barba Confabulation Battery, and (ii) confabulations are more widespread than stated in the current scientific literature. This would mean that confabulations are not limited only to a narrow scope of patients. As of yet and to our knowledge, no study has tested confabulations in patients that do not show any obvious confabulatory behaviour. Our study could therefore provide important data on patients with similar scores and different diseases, possibly hinting at some underlying similarities. Our conclusion was that the questionnaire has several and serious flaws, thus making unreliable our result that patients with brain diseases confabulate statistically significantly more often than healthy individuals (p = 0.021). Therefore, we rejected our first hypothesis on quantifying confabulations using this questionnaire and could not confirm or reject that confabulations are more widespread among patients with a brain disease than currently believed. We propose some changes that might make the questionnaire more reliable but we also share our doubts on whether such a complex and badly understood phenomenon as confabulation can even be quantified. Our findings are relevant for every study in which this or a similar questionnaire was used. There is a distinct possibility that the results of these studies are strongly skewed or incorrect.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: confabulations, false memories, brain disease, structured interview
    Number of Pages: 80
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    dr. Zvezdan PirtošekMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11349577)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4197
    Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 15:58
    Last Modified: 28 Nov 2016 15:58
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4197

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