#BrainFactMonday – What Is “Confabulating” And How Is This Affecting Me?
Posted on 29th May 2023
Do you ever find yourself confabulating? Or perhaps you have a colleague that constantly does so? 😱
This #BrainFactMonday is about your brain's ability to sometimes "fill in" missing information or gaps in your perception, a phenomenon called 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗮𝗯𝘂𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
It can occur when you encounter ambiguous or incomplete information or try to remember something you don't have a complete memory of.
Your brain can try to "fill in" the gaps in your memory with your expectations or prior knowledge, which can lead to false memories or perceptions.
That's why when you see someone you haven't seen in a while, your brain may "fill in" the gaps in your memory of their appearance with your expectations/prior knowledge of how they looked, misleading you.
What that means is that, yes, the brain IS an amazing organ, BUT it's not infallible! 🤷 What's the value in understanding the ability of your brain to confabulate?
Well... certainly, it helps you be more mindful of your perceptions and memories, reminding you not to take them for granted, and not rely too heavily on them without corroboration from other sources.👀
𝗕𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀: question your memories or perceptions, especially when they seem to be based on incomplete or ambiguous information.👀 𝗗𝗼𝗻'𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗼 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗿 𝗺𝗲𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀: corroborate your perceptions or memories with other sources when possible.
👀 𝗕𝗲 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗶𝗻'𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀: recognise the limitations of your perception and memory and take steps to compensate for them.So, what can you do to take care of your brain and reduce the rIsk of confabulation?
Here are a few tips:
🧠 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗳𝘂𝗹𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 to help you be more aware of your thoughts and perceptions.
🧠 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗲𝘀 to help you keep track of important information and reduce the risk of gaps in your memory.
🧠 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹-𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 your brain, as fatigue can increase the risk of confabulation.
🧠 Finally, always 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 if you are concerned about your perception or memory.
So next time you find yourself or your colleague confabulate, you know what's going on and how to handle it.
Isn't it amazing how knowing your brain can help ease your life?