Can a Concussion History Affect the Susceptibility to the Misinformation Effect?

Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont 05753

Concussions have been shown to have damaging effects to multiple functions of the brain, including memory. One of the key components of memory is the ability to determine the original source of a memory, a concept called source monitoring. The current study was designed to explore how individuals with a history of concussions would compare with individuals without a concussion history when their source monitoring ability was tested. The researchers investigated the influence a concussion history would have on the susceptibility to the effects of misinformation. Twenty individuals with a concussion history and twenty-two individuals without a concussion history participated in the study. It was expected that individuals without a concussion history would perform better on tests evaluating their ability to correctly monitor the source of information. Statistical analysis revealed that both the concussed and non-concussed group performed similarly in their ability to source monitor. The contradictory results this study exhibits, when compared to previous research, suggests that further exploration into this particular portion of memory may be useful when understanding how concussions affect memory performance. The results of this study suggest that concussions may not always produce negative long- term memory related cognitive effects.

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