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Memory Repression: Brain Mechanisms underlying Dissociative Amnesia

Summary: Memory Repression: Brain Mechanisms underlying
Dissociative Amnesia
Hirokazu Kikuchi, Toshikatsu Fujii, Nobuhito Abe, Maki Suzuki,
Masahito Takagi, Shunji Mugikura, Shoki Takahashi, and Etsuro Mori
Dissociative amnesia usually follows a stressful event and
cannot be attributable to explicit brain damage. It is thought to
reflect a reversible deficit in memory retrieval probably due to
memory repression. However, the neural mechanisms underlying
this condition are not clear. We used fMRI to investigate neural
activity associated with memory retrieval in two patients with
dissociative amnesia. For each patient, three categories of face
photographs and three categories of peoples names correspond-
ing to the photographs were prepared: those of "recognizable"
high school friends who were acquainted with and recognizable
to the patients, those of "unrecognizable" colleagues who were
actually acquainted with but unrecognizable to the patients
due to their memory impairments, and "control" distracters
who were unacquainted with the patients. During fMRI, the
patients were visually presented with these stimuli and asked to


Source: Abe, Nobuhito - Department of Psychology, Harvard University


Collections: Biology and Medicine