Retrograde amnesia and malingering

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Purpose of reviewMalingered anterograde amnesia is a phenomenon that has been exhaustively studied, whereas research on retrograde amnesia has tended to focus upon functional and organic accounts of impairment. The present review explores studies relevant to extending the malingering paradigm to retrograde amnesia.Recent findingsIn the period reviewed, very little work has directly addressed the area of malingered retrograde amnesia. Researchers have tended to explain apparent ‘anomalies’ in memory performance or individual presentation, as manifestations of unconscious or psychological distress-mediated behaviour. In contrast, research with offenders claiming amnesia for their crimes has emphasized that malingered retrograde amnesia can be identified with relevant assessment methods. Brain imaging work too has begun to clearly describe the associated neural processes that underlie deception. It appears that the necessary coalescence of insights from clinical neuropsychology, brain imaging and neurology has reached a critical moment.SummaryCurrent and previous studies are reviewed that addresses the assessment of malingered retrograde amnesia and evidences that a critical moment has been reached.

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