Are errors differentiable from deceptive responses when feigning memory impairment? An fMRI study

Tatia M C Lee, Ricky K C Au, Ho Ling Liu, K. H. Ting, Chih Mao Huang, Che Hin Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Previous neuroimaging studies have suggested that the neural activity associated with truthful recall, with false memory, and with feigned memory impairment are different from one another. Here, we report a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study that addressed an important but yet unanswered question: Is the neural activity associated with intentional faked responses and with errors differentiable? Using a word list learning recognition paradigm, the findings of this mixed event-related fMRI study clearly indicated that the brain activity associated with intentional faked responses was different to the activity associated with errors committed unintentionally. For intentional faked responses, significant activation was found in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, the posterior cingulate region, and the precuneus. However, no significant activation was observed for unintentional errors. The results suggest that deception, in terms of feigning memory impairment, is not only more cognitively demanding than making unintentional errors but also utilizes different cognitive processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-412
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • Deception
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Genuine errors
  • Lie detection
  • Lying
  • Memory impairment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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