Amnesia Research Paper

1724 Words 7 Pages
Debunking the Myths Surrounding Amnesia and Their Origins
There are few myths about amnesia and its affects. One of them is that most people with amnesia forget everything about their identities and all of their past memories. A second is that one way to get rid of amnesia is to have another head injury (Lilienfeld, Lynn, Ruscio, Beyerstein, 2010). Theses myths are a problem if left unaddressed because it causes people to have misconceptions about memory, learning and how the brain works. It is also important to discredit the myth so people know what to except if they themselves or someone they know is diagnosed with amnesia. This myth originated primarily from Hollywood movies such as The Bourne Identity and television shows like “The Flintstones”.
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However, amnesia causing total memory loss is actually extremely rare; amnesia typically targets the more recent memories or keeps the victim from forming new or long-term memories. Unfortunately for psychologist amnesia is a popular device in movies and tv shows. It involves someone losing all of their memory, after experiencing trauma. Then they spend the rest of the time trying to get their memory back. Due to movies, television and books having such a large influence upon people everywhere, this myth quickly became popular during the 20th century. Many movies are still endorsing the misconception of amnesia’s effects, increasing the prevalence of this myth. Myths can be dangerous when they are believed to be true. It could potentially cause a problem if a doctor told patient or their family the wrong information about amnesia because they believe the myth. It could have terrible effects. The other myth about amnesia myth that it can be “cured” with another head injury. It is dangerous as it can cause people to possibly injure themselves. The solution to the issue of the general public’s lack of understanding of the functions of the brain is to make every underclassman at the undergraduate level take a psychology class that focuses on the brain’s functions or a chapter about memory, encoding, storage, retrieval and failures in the memory …show more content…
People also believe that a second head trauma will cure the amnesia caused by the first trauma. Also, that people can function normally after awaking from a coma when in actuality it causes cognitive issues associated with memory. There needs to be more research focused on the function of the brain and how it processes information to create memories. More research will continue to be done to find new information. Formerly, people were not able to thoroughly investigate a living brain and its functions. Scientists used to believe the idea that the brain was two separate organs that were redundant, doing the same work. Around the 19th century, a scientist thought that the two hemispheres acted together in union. He believed that side mirrored the other. The idea could cause someone to think that if one side of the brain was injured that an injury to the other side of the head counter act the first. The media should strive for more accurate depictions of amnesia and correctly portray the effects of having amnesia. They should talk about the different intensities of memory loss and the differing forms. Schools could also discuss the various versions of amnesia and what they mean. Later people could be surveyed to determine how many people after the shift in the way amnesia is depicted over the years still believe the myths. The results can then be compared to

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