Turn Text Only Off

Page Utilities


What Is Confabulation and How Does It Relate to Brain Injury?

Comments [4]

Dr. Celeste Campbell, BrainLine

What Is Confabulation and How Does It Relate to Brain Injury?

What is confabulation?


Confabulation is a memory disorder in which the individual produces false memories. When people confabulate, they either report remembering events that never occurred, or remember events as having occurred at an incorrect time or place. For example, a person who is confabulating may report a conversation that never occurred, or may report a conversation that occurred three years ago as having happened today.

What is important to remember is that confabulation is a direct result of damage to the brain — the person is not making things up as we traditionally understand it, but truly believes what he or she is reporting. The areas of the brain generally associated with confabulation are the frontal lobes and basal forebrain.

Confabulation can be addressed with psychotherapy and/or cognitive rehabilitation that involve helping people become more aware of their inaccuracies. Sometimes it will resolve on its own with time.

Click here to go to About Ask the Expert.

Celeste Campbell, PsyDCeleste Campbell, PsyD, Dr. Celeste Campbell is a neuropsychologist in the Polytrauma Program at the Washington, DC Veterans Administration Medical Center. She has a long history of providing cognitive psychotherapy and developing residential behavioral management programs for children and adults.

The contents of Brainline (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.

Comments [4]

30 years ago my wife while a passenger in a car and not wearing a seat belt was thrown into the windshield and suffered injuries on the left side of her forehead. It was a bizarre 25 or so years pointing things out to my wife who would then argue with me. until I witnessed my daughter in the same type of discussions with her Mom, I realized I wasn't crazy. then a year ago in her college  Psych class she studied Confabulation and told me about it. I feel for those out there that are dealing with a family member or close one, and aren't aware of what they are dealing with.

Apr 3rd, 2015 12:32am

My husband vanished from our kids and I months ago telling all sorts of lies even dragging us into the court system. It has been a nightmare but now truly believe he is confabulating and he has been untreated with PTSD and multiple TBI's for a long time. His parents are in denial and we have lost everything and the kids and I have now lost our home and live in one room. If he doesn't know he is doing it and has almost we feel forgotten his own kids and I because we haven't heard from him since June and last we did know we were his enemy, will he break through on his own and remember?

Nov 2nd, 2014 4:58am

My husband confabulates, it's bizarre.

Feb 28th, 2014 8:40pm

Do you ever see this in children and young adults? Can it be confused with ADHD?

Feb 24th, 2013 7:41pm

BrainLine Footer


BrainLineMilitary.org is supported in part by generous grants
from the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the Infinite Hero Foundation.

Bob Woodruff Foundation  Infinite Hero Foundation

© 2015 WETA All Rights Reserved

Javascript is disabled. Please be aware that some parts of the site may not function as expected!