Detecting simulated amnesia for autobiographical and recently learned information using the P300 event-related potential

Joel Ellwanger, Joel P Rosenfeld*, Jerry J. Sweet, Maneesha Bhatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate whether the P300 (P3) event-related potential (ERP) can be used as an index of the intactness of recognition memory in subjects trying to simulate amnesia, two groups of subjects (n = 12 and n = 15) were instructed to simulate amnesia and one group of control subjects (n = 14) did not simulate amnesia while taking three recognition tests, during which ERPs were recorded. The three tests consisted of three different types of memory items: (1) the subject's birthday (birth), (2) the experimenter's name (name), (3) a word list of 14 nouns (words). The memory item was presented in a random series with other, similar in type, non-memory items. In group tests, memory items evoked larger amplitude P3s than non-memory items (p < 0.001). Within-subjects tests were used to determine whether the P3 amplitude in response to memory items was larger than the P3 amplitude in response to non-memory items for each individual. There was no difference between the sensitivity of the best within-subjects tests for amnesia simulators (birth = 0.9, name = 0.85, words = 0.53) versus non-simulators (birth = 1.0, name = 0.81, words = 0.5) averaged across the three test types. This suggests that P3 used as an index of the intactness of recognition memory may be useful in cases of suspected malingering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-23
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Psychophysiology
Volume23
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

Keywords

  • Event-related potential
  • P300
  • Simulated amnesia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Detecting simulated amnesia for autobiographical and recently learned information using the P300 event-related potential'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this