Navigation Links
Brown professor continues debate over recovered memory
Date:7/7/2009

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] Fueling the debate over the controversial psychiatric disorder known as dissociative amnesia, or repressed memory, Brown University political scientist Ross Cheit is challenging claims by two Harvard University psychiatrists. At issue is how to prove whether the memories of trauma, such as childhood sexual abuse, can be repressed and then resurface later in life. Cheit's paper, co-authored by Rachel E. Goldsmith of Reed College and Mary E. Wood of University of Oregon, appears in the current issue of Journal of Trauma & Dissociation.

Cheit is disputing a 2006 contest by Harvard University psychiatrists Harrison G. Pope and James Hudson, both well-known skeptics of repressed memory. They argued that if repressed memory were a genuine natural phenomenon that has always affected people, "then someone, somewhere, in the thousands of years prior to 1800, would have witnessed it and portrayed it in a nonfictional work or in a fictional character." They launched a contest, known as the "Repression Challenge," offering a $1,000 prize to anyone who could identify a pre-1800 literary example of traumatic memory that has been repressed by an otherwise healthy individual, and then recovered.

In 2007, Pope and Hudson published their results in the journal Psychological Medicine, claiming that after reviewing more than 100 responses, none of them met the contest criteria, leading Pope and Hudson to conclude that "dissociative amnesia is not a natural neuropsychological phenomenon, but instead a culture-bound syndrome, dating from the nineteenth century." Their findings drew national media attention.

Cheit said he repeatedly contacted Pope and the journal editors shortly after the article was published, requesting the data from Pope and raising questions about the contest methodology. Several months later, Pope and his team acknowledged on their Web site that the submitted example of Nina, a 1786 opera by the French composer Nicolas Dalayrac, fulfilled the contest criteria and that the $1,000 prize had been awarded. However, Cheit said, they never published a correction, addendum, or retraction of their original article and its conclusions.

"The entire situation is remarkable to me. It's clearly a 'heads I win, tails you lose' situation," Cheit said. "Pope takes an extreme position in saying there's no such thing as recovered memory and I'm stunned that a scientist would be such an extremist. I'm also stunned that a scientist would be so willing to ignore evidence that contradicts him."

In the current Journal of Trauma & Dissociation article, Cheit calls Pope's entire contest "a sham," accusing Pope's team of failing to provide a thorough account of all submissions and the process by which they were rejected, offering highly questionable literary analysis, and including several misrepresentations of the state of the science regarding memory for trauma. Cheit and his team offer additional literary examples and summarize some data that Pope and his team did not consider.

They conclude, "Literature can provide important information about human experience, but it cannot prove or disprove traumatic amnesia any more than it can prove or disprove the existence of bacteria or dragons. Literary passages and modern scientific data do reveal descriptions and data, respectively, that depict dissociative amnesia as a naturally occurring traumatic sequela."


'/>"/>

Contact: Deborah Baum
deborah_baum@brown.edu
401-863-2478
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Danielle Browning: Providing Immediate Help for Individuals in Need of Health Coverage and Career Recreation
2. Brown Takes Over Reins as Chair of AOSSM Medical Publishing Board of Trustees
3. Domestic Violence Expert Comments on Chris Brown Plea Deal
4. Senator Brown Leads Fight to Protect Americas Kids from Tobacco
5. Statement by American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown on Senate Passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act June 11, 2009
6. Brown & Toland Announces 2008 Financial Results
7. 2009 Houston Juneteenth Multicultural Health Festival Becomes Largest Health Event in Texas: Festival Moves Indoors to the Cool George R. Brown
8. Sen. Sherrod Brown Votes to Protect Americas Kids from Tobacco
9. Depression does make your brown eyes blue
10. Brain Balance(TM) Centers Picks Adam Kluger Public Relations (AKPR) to Help Promote New Book and Atlanta Event to Raise Awareness About Revolutionary New Way to Treat Learning Disorders; Atlantic Recording Artist/Country Music Star Zac Brown and Dr. Rober
11. The National PKU Alliance Expands Leadership and Names Christine Brown as Executive Director
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and ... their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took ... the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June ... about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... CitiDent, is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive ... self-ligating Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. ... articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ("Collagen Matrix") ... manufacturing of collagen and mineral based medical devices ... Bill Messer has joined the company ... leverage the growing portfolio of oral surgery, neurosurgery, ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive team as ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dublin ... addition of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy ... This report focuses on the ... review, including its applications in various applications. The report ... includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ... develops, markets and sells medical devices and wearable sleep ... a strategic cooperation agreement with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management ... on June 20, 2016, to develop Dehaier,s new Internet ... agreement, Dehaier will leverage Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: