“False Memories of UFO Encounters: An fMRI Investigation”
False memories used to be all the rage in the 70’s to late 80’s, everyone got busy un-repressing memories of abuse, incest, aliens and my personal fav, satanic rituals. Recovered Memory Therapy was a thing, people immediately jumped on Geraldo or Sally Jesse and got a book going.
So seeing that there will be an fMRI study for everything eventually, why not abductees? The idea of identifying not just the neural circuitry of false memories but unusual false memories, is intriguing. From the abstract:
A sample of 12 men and women who identified themselves as UFO abductees were used in the fMRI part of this experiment with their UFO abduction memory as the ‘self false memory’ condition. We found evidence that the processing of real and false memories is correlated with different patterns of brain activity. The results indicated that self-referential responding was mainly associated to prefrontal and limbic activations whereas the successful retrieval of unusual content was associated to multiple regions of the brain including but not limited to bilateral prefrontal and occipital activations, and right anterior cingulate. Significant interactions were also observed in four right hemispheric regions: the lateral globus pallidus; the superior frontal gyrus; the parietal supramarginal gyrus; and the limbic lobe with increased activation specifically linked to the condition “self false memory”. [via
Some chalk abduction memories up to the “abductee” having an epileptic fit, which is consistent with common reports of bright lights, buzzing noises and paralysis right before all the probing goes down. BUT THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK.