Confabulation: views from neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology and philosophy

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $55.83
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 20%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (5) from $55.83   
  • New (4) from $55.83   
  • Used (1) from $69.99   


When people confabulate, they make an ill-grounded claim that they honestly believe is true. There have been countless fascinating examples of confabulatory behaviour - people falsely recalling events from their childhood, the subject who was partially blind but insisted he could see, the amputee convinced that he retained all his limbs, to the patient who believed that his own parents had been replaced by imposters. Though confabulations can result from neurological damage, they can also appear in perfectly healthy people. Yet, how can confabulators so often appear to be of sound mind, yet not see their own errors? This book brings together some of the most advanced thinking on confabulation in neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology, and philosophy, in an attempt to understand this phenomenon; what are the clinical symptoms of each type of confabulation? Which brain functions are damaged in clinical confabulators? What are the neuropsychological characteristics of each type? What causes confabulation in healthy individuals? One reason why the study of confabulation is important is that there is wide agreement that the malfunctions that produce confabulation are malfunctions in significant, high-level cognitive processes. With contributions from a range of leading psychologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, the book develops an interdisciplinary dialogue that promises to increase our understanding of confabulatory neurological patients, and perhaps help us better understand memory, consciousness, and human nature itself. Features An interdisplinary examination of a extraordinary phenomenon, showing how confabulations can affect not just neurological patients, but perfectly healthy individuals Presents a range of examples of confabulation, drawing from real life cases Includes chapters from leading thinkers in the cognitive and brain sciences

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Picked as one of The New Scientist's Best Books of 2009!

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199208913
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 10/11/2009
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

William Hirstein is Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Elmhurst College, in Elmhurst, Illinois, USA. He received his PhD from the University of California, Davis, in 1994. His graduate and postdoctoral studies were conducted under the supervision of John Searle, V. S. Ramachandran, and Patricia Churchland. He is the author of several books, including On the Churchlands (Wadsworth, 2004), and Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation (MIT, 2005). His other interests include autism, sociopathy, brain laterality, and the misidentification syndromes.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contributors vii

Introduction: What is confabulation? William Hirstein 1

1 Confabulation in anterior communicating artery syndrome John Deluca 13

2 False memories: A kind of confabulation in non-clinical subjects Lauren French Maryanne Garry Elizabeth Loftus 33

3 The cognitive consequences of forced fabrication: Evidence from studies of eyewitness suggestibility Quin M. Chrobak Maria S. Zaragoza 67

4 Confabulation, the self, and ego functions: The ego disequilibrium theory Todd E. Feinberg 91

5 He is not my father, and that is not my arm: Accounting for misidentifications of people and limbs William Hirstein V. S. Ramachandra 109

6 Delusional confabulations and self-deception Alfred R. Mele 139

7 Confabulation as a psychiatric symptom P.J. McKenna E. Lorente-Rovira G.E. Berrios 159

8 Confabulation and delusion Max Coltheart Martha Turner 173

9 Anosognosia for hemiplegia: A confabulatory state Kenneth M. Heilman 189

10 Everyday confabulation Thalia Wheatley 203

11 Temporal consciousness and confabulation: Escape from unconscious explanatory idols Gianfranco Dalla Barb 223

12 Disentangling the notivational theories of confabulation Aikaterini Fotopoulou 263

Subject Index 291

Author Index 297

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)