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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Extension Study: fMRI use to Distinguish Between Deception andGeneral Memory


The purpose of this study is to expand upon the findings published by Junhong Yu, Qian Tao,Ruibin Zhang, Chetwyn C.H. Chan, and Tatia M.C. Lee in their paper, “Can fMRI discriminatebetween deception and false memory? A meta-analytic comparison between deception and falsememory studies” by conducting a meta-analysis to compare brain activation between deceptionand general memory1 recollection (Yu et al., 2019). Meta-analyses compile fMRI results frommany individual studies with regard to a specific cognitive task into one, cumulative dataset. Themeta-analyses for this extension were compiled by Neurosynth using FMRIB Software Library(FSL) to measure the amount of brain activation corresponding to areas involved in bothdeception and memory in general (“Nipype: Neuroimaging in Python,” 2020). The purpose ofthis extension is to understand how general memory recollection might compare to deception.The prediction of this study is that by broadening the memory dataset to include data from falseand true memory, activation will be reported in more areas than those reported in Yu and hiscolleagues separate analysis of each kind of memory. This, in turn, should make it more difficultto differentiate deception from memory recollection when it is not known to be true or false.While Yu et al. 2019 concluded that areas associated with truthful memory and false memorywere both separately distinguishable from deception, the results found in this study indicate thatactivation involved with general memory was distinguishable from deception only in theprecuneus and cingulate gyrus.

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