Retrograde Amnesia (OpenStax Psychology 2e)
Retrograde amnesia is the loss of memory for events that occurred prior to the trauma. People with retrograde amnesia cannot remember some or even all of their past. They have difficulty remembering episodic memories. What if you woke up in the hospital one day and there were people surrounding your bed claiming to be your spouse, your children, and your parents? The trouble is you don’t recognize any of them. You were in a car accident, suffered a head injury, and now have retrograde amnesia. You don’t remember anything about your life prior to waking up in the hospital. This may sound like the stuff of Hollywood movies, and Hollywood has been fascinated with the amnesia plot for nearly a century, going all the way back to the film Garden of Lies from 1915 to more recent movies such as the Jason Bourne spy thrillers. However, for real-life sufferers of retrograde amnesia, like former NFL football player Scott Bolzan, the story is not a Hollywood movie. Bolzan fell, hit his head, and deleted 46 years of his life in an instant. He is now living with one of the most extreme cases of retrograde amnesia on record.
Spielman, R. M., Jenkins, W. J., & Lovett, M. D. (2020). Psychology 2e. OpenStax. Houston, Texas. Accessed for free at https://openstax.org/details/books/psychology-2e
Research Article: Focal Retrograde Amnesia: Voxel-Based Morphometry Findings in a Case without MRI Lesions
Date Published: October 19, 2011 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Bernhard Sehm, Stefan Frisch, Angelika Thöne-Otto, Annette Horstmann, Arno Villringer, Hellmuth Obrig, Hans P. Op de Beeck. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0026538 Abstract: Focal retrograde amnesia (FRA) is a rare neurocognitive disorder presenting with an isolated loss of retrograde memory. In the absence of detectable brain lesions, a differentiation … Continue reading
Research Article: Suppression of Neurotoxic Lesion-Induced Seizure Activity: Evidence for a Permanent Role for the Hippocampus in Contextual Memory
Date Published: November 14, 2011 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): Fraser T. Sparks, Hugo Lehmann, Khadaryna Hernandez, Robert J. Sutherland, Georges Chapouthier. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027426 Abstract: Damage to the hippocampus (HPC) using the excitotoxin N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) can cause retrograde amnesia for contextual fear memory. This amnesia is typically attributed to loss of cells in the HPC. However, … Continue reading
Date Published: August 17, 2004 Publisher: Public Library of Science Author(s): unknown Abstract: None Partial Text: In the 2002 thriller Memento, the protagonist, Lenny, is plagued by a crippling neurological disorder that renders him incapable of storing memories for longer than fifteen minutes. He wants nothing more than to avenge the murder of his wife, … Continue reading