The Left Hemisphere Interpreter and Confabulation : a Comparison

University essay from Högskolan i Skövde/Institutionen för kommunikation och information

Abstract:

The left hemisphere interpreter refers to a function in the left hemisphere of the brain that search for and produce causal explanations for events, behaviours and feelings, even though no such apparent pattern exists between them. Confabulation is said to occur when a person presents or acts on obviously false information, despite being aware that they are false. People who confabulate also tend to defend their confabulations even when they are presented with counterevidence. Research related to these two areas seems to deal with the same phenomenon, namely the human tendency to infer explanations for events, even if the explanations have no actual bearing in reality. Despite this, research on the left hemisphere interpreter has progressed relatively independently from research related to the concept of confabulation. This thesis has therefore aimed at reviewing each area and comparing them in a search for common relations. What has been found as a common theme is the emphasis they both place on the potentially underlying function of the interpreter and confabulation. Many researchers across the two fields stress the adaptive and vital function of keeping the brain free from both contradiction and unpredictability, and propose that this function is served by confabulations and the left hemisphere interpreter. This finding may provide a possible opening for collaboration across the fields, and for the continued understanding of these exciting and perplexing phenomena.

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