I’ve just come across an article entitled “Gamma Oscillations Distinguish True From False Memories” that has just appeared in the November issue of Psychological Science. I haven’t had an opportunity to read the article beyond the abstract:
To test whether distinct patterns of electrophysiological activity prior to a response can distinguish true from false memories, we analyzed intracranial electroencephalographic recordings while 52 patients undergoing treatment for epilepsy performed a verbal free-recall task. These analyses revealed that the same pattern of gamma-band (28-100 Hz) oscillatory activity that predicts successful memory formation at item encoding—increased gamma power in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and left temporal lobe—reemerges at retrieval to distinguish correct from incorrect responses. The timing of these oscillatory effects suggests that self-cued memory retrieval begins in the hippocampus and then spreads to the cortex. Thus, retrieval of true, as compared with false, memories induces a distinct pattern of gamma oscillations, possibly reflecting recollection of contextual information associated with past experience.
My immediate interest in this work is philosophical: what, if anything, would this research have to say to the traditional epistemological formulation of justified true belief? Sorry, but just now I don’t have any clever thoughts to offer.