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.
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
- Genuine errors
- Lie detection
- Memory impairment