Okay, in the past two days we've seen that our memories are malleable. We can easily be made to misremember, and easily be made to adopt memories of things that never happened. But what actually goes on in our brains as we code bad information? Can we see misinformation taking hold?
Researchers Yoko Okado and Craig Stark can.
They showed subjects slides (correct information), and then showed them another set of slides with details changed (incorrect information).
Our hippocampus drives memory. Okado and Stark watched subjects' hippocampuses as subjects evaluated the two slides and sure enough, the information that most brightly lit the hippocampus is the information that subjects remembered.
Next (here's the cool part-stay with it), Okado and Stark monitored the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for adding "source tags" to information stored in our memories. No matter if subjects remembered correct or incorrect information, if the PFC's source tag was stronger in the original slide, subjects thought their information came from this slide.