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 February 27, 2015 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 February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. 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