Essay on The Neurobiology Behind Memory Retention And Formation

Essay on The Neurobiology Behind Memory Retention And Formation

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Memory distortion is more prevalent than many think and consequently eye-witness testimonies misidentifications have cause many false convictions. Informing jurors, law enforcements, and judges about the memory phenomena can help them distinguish between the innocence and guilty. Memory is fragile since it can be altered based on mood and experience, rendering eye witness testimonies as less valid than the justice community have previously understood. In this paper, I will discuss two articles that explore the neurobiology behind memory retention and formation along with its courtroom applications.
Lacy and Stark (2013) discusses common misunderstandings, memory distortions, neuroscience of memory, and memory distortions effect on the law system. Courtroom cases relies on eyewitness testimonies; however, studies have shown that memory is faulty. Many jurors and college students alike are uninformed about the memory phenomena and believe that memory functions can accurately store events. Additionally, many are unaware that face identification is ethnic-dependent, meaning it is easier to identify people with similar race. Consequently, eyewitness testimonies identifying races other than their own should be aware of this phenomena so facial reconstruction is not influenced by preconceived notions. Research found a negative association between confidence in witnesses’ identification accuracy and the actual accuracy. Witness confidence should not be heavily value as a great predictor for testimonies validity, as it has been in the past, since memory can be distorted in many ways. For instance, misinformation effect is when the original memory is distorted and occurs subconsciously. Even the wording or order of questions asked can alte...

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...ecall and fabrication. People tend to reconstruct their memories based on schemata, allowing false memory to be easily planted. Planted memory studies have been conducted and the results show a significant number of participants who actually believed the misinformation researchers implanted in them to be true. The articles explore the effect of insinuated memory and its effect in the courtroom. Therefore, informing the general public and those working in the law system about the memory phenomena can better the justice system. Memory can easily be tampered with over time so testimonies should not be the only deciding factor in cases. Other evidence should be required to convict a person. The researches indicate that strict methodological ways need to be implemented during witness testimonial questioning to reduce false memory implantation.


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