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The neuroscience of memory: implications for the courtroom

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3563
Abstract

Although memory can be hazy at times, it is often assumed that memories of violent or otherwise stressful events are so well encoded that they are effectively indelible and that confidently retrieved memories are almost certainly accurate. However, findings from basic psychological research and neuroscience studies indicate that memory is a reconstructive process that is susceptible to distortion. In the courtroom, even minor memory distortions can have severe consequences that are partly driven by common misunderstandings about memory--for example, that memory is more veridical than it may actually be.

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