The effects of experimentally induced stress on false recognition

Memory. 2002 Jan;10(1):1-6. doi: 10.1080/09658210143000119.


The fallibility of memory has become an issue of considerable practical and theoretical importance. Here we studied the impact of experimentally induced stress on the ability of human participants to accurately recognise words presented on a list. We found that stress selectively disrupted participants' ability to distinguish words that were presented for study from critical lure words that were semantically related, but not presented for study. This finding indicates that stress, possibly through its impact on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, can potentiate false memories.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall*
  • Recognition, Psychology*
  • Repression, Psychology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*