Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Dissociative Amnesia

  • Margaret MoultEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1120


Functional amnesia; Psychogenic amnesia


Dissociative amnesia is the pervasive loss of ones’ autobiographical memory, which is too extensive to be explained by normal forgetting. Unlike other types of amnesia, dissociative amnesia does not result from trauma to the head. Rather, this type of amnesia is most commonly associated with dissociative states or dissociative personality disorder, though it does not occur exclusively during disturbances due to these disorders.

The most striking aspect of dissociative amnesia is an inability to recount autobiographical information such as ones’ name, age, and background. Often, a person suffering from dissociative amnesia is unable to recount traumatic events. In dissociative amnesia, the amnesia is isolated to retrograde amnesia, with regard to specific events of the past. However, procedural, semantic, and prospective memory remain intact.

Historical Background

The first documented cases of dissociative amnesia occur during...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Olin Neuropsychiatry Research CenterInstitute of LivingHartfordUSA