I’ve always been facinated with stories involving false or questionable memories. Movies like Total Recall and Memento used memory as a critical element of their story lines. That’s why I found this article on CNN.com so interesting.
Researchers found that planting false memories, in this case hugging Bugs Bunny on a vacation to Disneyland, was much easier than expected.
More than a third of subjects in the study recalled that theme-park moment — impossible because Bugs is not a Disney character — after a researcher planted the false memory.
The report goes on to say how easy it can be to plant false memories in a subject. Using tactile senses such as touch, taste, sound and smell are the key. Aside from the facinating stories that can come from this are the real life implications. For years police departments have been scandalized about false confessions. Could it be that in some cases the interviewer unwittingly planted a false memory in a suspect? No one knows for sure, but the possibilities are a little frightening