World HOME
The Why Files Science
AlphaGalileo news centre for European science, engineering and technology.
Australian Broadcasting: The Lab online gateway to science and scientific events.
BBC News: Science and Technology
Berkeley Lab Science Beat - breaking research news from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, written for those who want to know about science but don't speak the language.
Bubble Chamber - science and technology news weblog.
CNN: Sci-Tech News
The DNA Files
EurekAlert A starting point for science with news, animated reference and book reviews. Science
FutureWatch - radio and television program that explores issues related to science, technology, and the environment.
InScight - daily science news service, a collaboration between Science magazine and Academic Press.
MSNBC: Science
New Scientist
National Geographic News
NOVA-Science in the News
PBS: Science
R & D Online - carries features on technological innovations.
Science Update & Why Is It? - daily radio programs which bring you fascinating news from the world of cutting-edge science and tackle your science questions.
Science GoGo - aims to reveal developments in science and technology to as wide an audience as possible. - daily research news from all fields of science at NASA.
Scientific Computing & Instrumentation
Scientist to Scientist - an occasional newsletter that reports on funding opportunities and other programs that promote scientific cooperation in East Central Europe, and the NIS.
SciNews - news search engine.
Sounds Like Science - takes the best of NPR science news coverage, stories about the science of everyday things, fun facts, humour and music, and gives it to you every weekend for your listening pleasure.
UniSci - covers research at American universities. News stories are updated frequently. Editorials about science are also carried, with feedback from all readers invited.
USA Today: Science Digest

Study: It's Easy to Plant False Memories
The Associated Press, Sun 16 Feb 2003

DENVER (AP) Remember that wonderful day when Bugs Bunny hugged you at Disneyland? A study presented Sunday shows just how easy it can be to induce false memories in the minds of some people.

More than a third of subjects in the study recalled that theme-park moment impossible because Bugs is not a Disney character after a researcher planted the false memory.

Other research, of people who believed they were abducted by space aliens, shows that even false memories can be as intensely felt as those of real-life victims of war and other violence.

The research demonstrates that police interrogators and people investigating sexual-abuse allegations must be careful not to plant suggestions into their subjects, said University of California-Irvine psychologist Elizabeth Loftus. She presented preliminary results of recent false memory experiments Sunday at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Loftus said some people may be so suggestible that they could be convinced they were responsible for crimes they didn't commit. In interviews, ``much of what goes on unwittingly is contamination,'' she said.

The news media's power of suggestion also can leave a false impression, Loftus said.

``During the Washington sniper attacks, everyone reported seeing a white van,'' she said. ``Where did it come from? The whole country was seeing white vans.''

A key, researchers said, is to add elements of touch, taste, sound and smell to the story.

In the Bugs Bunny study, Loftus talked with subjects about their childhoods and asked not only whether they saw someone dressed up as the character, but also whether they hugged his furry body and stroked his velvety ears. In subsequent interviews, 36 percent of the subjects recalled the cartoon rabbit.

In another study, Loftus suggested frog-kissing incidents that 15 percent of the group later recalled.

``It is sensory details that people use to distinguish their memories,'' said Loftus, who has conducted false memories experiments on 20,000 subjects over 25 years. ``If you imbue the story with them, you'll disrupt this memory process. It's almost a recipe to get people to remember things that aren't true.''

In other research presented Sunday, Harvard University psychologist Richard McNally tested 10 people who said they had been abducted, physically examined and sexually molested by space aliens.

Researchers tape-recorded the subjects talking about their memories. When the recordings were played back later, the purported abductees perspired and their heart rates jumped.

McNally said three of the 10 subjects showed physical reactions ``at least as great'' as people suffering post traumatic stress disorder from war, crime, rape and other violent incidents.

``This underscores the power of emotional belief,'' McNally said.

| | | | | | | | | | |

Email this story to a friend Email this story to a friend 
Discover Magazine
Scientific American
American Scientist
Armchair Scientist
Breakthrough - newsletter on developments in science and technology.
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists - covers nuclear weapons, international security, the military, the arms trade, and the nuclear industry.
Catalyst, The - Brown University - interdisciplinary magazine focusing on bridging the gap between the sciences and humanities, as well as within the disciplines of science.
Cornell SciTech Magazine - devoted to the coverage of new ideas, breakthroughs, controversies and people in the worlds of science and engineering.
Harvard Science Review
Issues in Science and Technology - publishes articles that analyze current topics in science, technology, and health policy, and recommends actions by government, industry, academia, and individuals to solve pressing problems.
National Science & Technology Week
naturalSCIENCE - for reviews, essays, and letters concerned with all aspects of science.
New Scientist
NewsReport - a magazine featuring activities of the National Research Council.
Physics World
Probe - an independent investigative newsletter focusing on current issues in medical and other scientific research.
Robot Science & Technology - magazine for educators, students, hobbyists, and enthusiasts.
Science & Technology Review
Science Magazine
Science News
Scientific American Explorations
Scientific Computing & Instrumentation
WIRESCRIPT: Web Information REpository on Scientific Culture, Research, Innovation Policy and Technology

North America DailyCentral America DailySouth America DailyAfrica DailyAustralia DailyAsia News AgencyMiddle East DailyEurope DailyScandinavia News
Arab World
Asia Pacific
Middle East
North America
Polar Regions
South America
Australia & Oceania
Central America