Awareness of Memory and Brain Function on a Continuum of Insight: Assessing the Presence of a Dysnosognosia

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Campbell, Ransom
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Middle Tennessee State University
The purpose of this study was to determine whether healthy individuals displayed deficits in their ability to estimate their memory function as it relates to the concept of human self-awareness. An extensive literature review indicated that patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have a tendency to overestimate their memory abilities in similar paradigms. Additionally, neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies have found significant involvement of the right frontal lobe in memory prediction/performance paradigms. As such it was hypothesized that the healthy participants who were inaccurate in their memory estimations would show relative deficits on tests of right frontal lobe function. Results did not support the initial hypothesis. Subsequent analyses were conducted to determine whether those participants who overestimated their memory would perform differently compared to those who were accurate and those who underestimated. Results did indeed show that those participants who overestimated their performance evidenced a relative deficit on a test of right frontal lobe function. Additionally it was found that those participants who underestimated performed better on a test of right frontal lobe function than those who were accurate.