Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Farzin IraniEmail author
  • David J. Libon
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1277


Korsakoff initially described “pseudoreminiscences” in alcoholic patients with amnesia who made up fictitious stories about events that did not occur. In their translation of Kosakoff’s original work, Victor and Yakovlev note that Korsakoff first identified patients with a “psychic disorder in conjunction with multiple neuritis” who presented with “a derangement of memory and of the association of ideas” along with other symptoms of the now well-known Korsakoff syndrome (Korsakoff 1955). Later, the term confabulation was introduced and defined as the “falsification of memory occurring in clear consciousness in association with an organically derived amnesia” (Berlyne 1972). It has also been referred to as “true memories that have been misplaced in both time and place” (Kopelman 1987) as well as the “spontaneous narrative reports of events that never happened.” More recently, confabulation has been defined as “statements or actions that involve distortions of memories”...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berlyne, N. (1972). Confabulation. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 120(554), 31–39.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Borsutzky, S., Fujiwara, E., Brand, M., & Markowitsch, H. J. (2008). Confabulations in alcoholic Korsakoff patients. Neuropsychologia, 46(13), 3133–3143.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Castelli, P., & Ghetti, S. (2014). Resisting imagination and confabulation: effects of metacognitive training. Journal of Experimental and Child Psychology, 126, 339–356.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dalla Barba, G. (1993). Different patterns of confabulation. Cortex, 29(4), 567–581.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dalla Barba, G., Mantovan, M. C., Cappelletti, J. Y., & Denes, G. (1998). Temporal gradient in confabulation. Cortex, 34(3), 417–426.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeLuca, J. (1992). Rehabilitation of confabulation: The issue of unawareness of deficit. NeuroRehabilitation, 2(3), 23–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DeLuca, J. (2000). A cognitive neuroscience perspective on confabulation. Neuro-psychoanalysis, 2(2), 119–132.Google Scholar
  9. DeLuca, J., & Diamond, B. J. (1995). Aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery: A review of neuroanatomical and neuropsychological sequelae. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 17(1), 100–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DeLuca, J., & Locker, R. (1996). Cognitive rehabilitation following anterior communicating artery aneurysm bleeding: A case report. Disability and Rehabilitation, 18(5), 265–272.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. El Haj, M., & Laroi, F. (2017). Provoked and spontaneous confabulations in Alzheimer’s disease: An examination of their prevalence and relation with general cognitive and executive functioning. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 71, 61–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fischer, R. S., Alexander, M. P., D’Esposito, M., & Otto, R. (1995). Neuropsychological and neuroanatomical correlates of confabulation. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 17(1), 20–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Johnson, M. K., Hashtroudi, S., & Lindsay, D. S. (1993). Source monitoring. Psychological Bulletin, 114(1), 3–28.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Johnson, M. K., Raye, C. L., Mitchell, K. J., & Ankudowich, E. (2011). The cognitive neuroscience of true and false memories. In R. F. Belli (Ed.), True and false recovered memories: Toward a reconciliation of the debate. Vol. 58: Nebraska symposium on motivation (pp. 15–52). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  15. Kopelman, M. D. (1987). Two types of confabulation. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 50(11), 1482–1487.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kopelman, M. D., Stanhope, N., & Kingsley, D. (1997). Temporal and spatial context memory in patients with focal frontal, temporal lobe, and diencephalic lesions. Neuropsychologia, 35(12), 1533–1545.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  17. Korsakoff, S. S. (1955). Psychic disorder in conjunction with peripheral neuritis. Neurology, 5, 394–406.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Metcalf, K., Langdon, R., & Coltheart, M. (2007). Models of confabulation: A critical review and a new framework. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 24(1), 23–47.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. Moscovitch, M., & Melo, B. (1997). Strategic retrieval and the frontal lobes: Evidence from confabulation and amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 35(7), 1017–1034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schnider, A. (2003). Spontaneous confabulation and the adaptation of thought to ongoing reality. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 4(8), 662–671.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Schnider, A., Ptak, R., von Daniken, C., & Remonda, L. (2000). Recovery from spontaneous confabulations parallels recovery of temporal confusion in memory. Neurology, 55(1), 74–83.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Shakeel, M., & Docherty, N. M. (2015). Confabulations in schizophrenia. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 20(1), 1–13.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. Victor, M., & Ropper, A. H. (Eds.). (2001). Principles of neurology (7th ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentWest Chester University of PennsylvaniaWest ChesterUSA
  2. 2.Departments of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and PsychologyRowan University, New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging, School of Osteopathic MedicineStratfordUSA