Amnesia: Beyond the Tropes

You’ve read it a million times. The heroine (or hero) has no memory of who she is. No name. No remembered family. No past. Amnesia, says the doctor. And the story takes off. She (or he) attempts to recover her name. Her family. Her past. A little frightened and a lot intrigued, you are hooked. You’ve read it so many times, it’s entertaining but not surprising. However, reality might surprise you. Over the last month we’ve been talking about memory. In my post “What Do You Remember and How” you learned about the study of memory, the stages of memory, and the types of memory. “Do You Have a Terrible Memory?” discussed why you forget, the types of forgetting, and what normal forgetting is. You also learned that there were two umbrella terms that describe abnormal types of forgetting: Amnesia and Dementia. You may be like me. You’ve read so many stories and seen so many movies or television shows whose characters suffered amnesia that you think you understand what it is. You could be wrong. Do You Know What It Is?  Amnesia is total or partial loss of the ability to recall experiences or events that happened in the preceding few seconds, […]