Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Thanks For The Memories: Cinematic Portrayal Of Amnesia Is Profoundly Misleading

Date:
December 30, 2004
Source:
British Medical Journal
Summary:
The way the movies represent amnesia is profoundly misleading, and gives the general public a false view of what to expect if they are diagnosed with the condition, says a paper in BMJ.

December 16, 2004 -- The way the movies represent amnesia is profoundly misleading, and gives the general public a false view of what to expect if they are diagnosed with the condition, says a paper in this week's BMJ.

Related Articles


Analyzing a host of movies from the silent era up to the present day, the paper traces a number of regular misconceptions about the condition.

Most amnesics in films are able to function as if on a 'clean slate', suffering few problems with everyday tasks, while managing to hold down new jobs and function socially. In reality amnesic patients experience significant difficulties in taking in new information, making many everyday tasks extremely difficult.

Movies often portray amnesics as undergoing complete personality changes, with a "startling number of originally 'bad' characters becoming 'good' after the onset of amnesia." In reality however personality and identity are often unaffected.

One of the most "neurologically bizarre features" of amnesia in films is the myth of a second serious head injury reversing the effects of a previous blow, says the paper's author Dr Sallie Baxendale. Movies also promote the idea that hypnosis or contact with a familiar object are ways out of the condition, but this is rarely the case.

Conversely, one of the more accurate portrayals of amnesia in films was the animated character Dory in last year's Finding Nemo (2003) says Dr Baxendale. The character finds it difficult to retain new information, remember names or know where she is going or why. The film also shows the frustration of those around her, and although she is a comic character, it reflects her vulnerability when she finds herself alone, lost and profoundly confused.

The widespread influence of cinema in shaping public perceptions must not be underestimated by the medical profession, says Dr Baxendale. Doctors should be aware of the myths about amnesia promoted in the movies when talking to patients and their relatives, she concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

British Medical Journal. "Thanks For The Memories: Cinematic Portrayal Of Amnesia Is Profoundly Misleading." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 December 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219161255.htm>.
British Medical Journal. (2004, December 30). Thanks For The Memories: Cinematic Portrayal Of Amnesia Is Profoundly Misleading. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219161255.htm
British Medical Journal. "Thanks For The Memories: Cinematic Portrayal Of Amnesia Is Profoundly Misleading." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219161255.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins