Decreased susceptibility to false memories from misinformation in hormonal contraception users

Nicole Petersen*, Lawrence Patihis, Shawn E. Nielsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Sex hormones are increasingly implicated in memory formation. Recent literature has documented a relationship between hormones and emotional memory and sex differences, which are likely related to hormones, have long been demonstrated in a variety of mnemonic domains, including false memories. Hormonal contraception (HC), which alters sex hormones, has been associated with a bias towards gist memory and away from detailed memory in women who use it during an emotional memory task. Here, we investigated whether HC was associated with changes in susceptibility to false memories, which may be related to the formation of gist memories. We tested false memory susceptibility using two well-validated false memory paradigms: the Deese–Roediger–McDermott (DRM) task, and a story-based misinformation task. We found that hormonal contraceptive users were less susceptible to false memories compared to non-users in the misinformation task, and no differences were seen between groups on the DRM task. We hypothesise that the differences in false memories from the misinformation task may be related to hormonal contraceptive users' memory bias away from details, towards gist memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1038
Number of pages10
JournalMemory
Volume23
Issue number7
Early online date21 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2015

Keywords

  • False memory
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Memory distortion
  • Misinformation

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