Aerious Jeffery
PYSC 2301. S09
15 Point Extra Credit Assignment
In the movie "50 First Dates", a woman named Luc y Whitmore is involved in a tragic car accident that leaves her with severe brain damage. The brain damage causes Whitmore to suffer from short-term memory loss. She wakes up every day believing that it is October 13th, 2002, which happens to be her father's birthday. It also happens to be the day that Whitmore and her father get into the tragic car accident. Everything and every memory before October 13 th , Whitmore seems to remember, but does not remember any memories or anything that has happened after that specific day. Because of Whitmore believing that it' s still October 13 th , 2002, she continues to finish her daily task that was planned the day of her car accident. When going to bed every night, Whitmore has "her slate wiped clean", as said in the movie. The next morning, Whitmore starts her life all over.
The tragic car accident ended up damaging Whitmore's temporal lobe. To be more specific, she damages her hippocampal region in her temporal section of the brain. The hippocampal region of the brain is is known for forming new memories. Throughout the movie , they demonstrate characteristic s that would be found in someone else's hippocampal region. Also, they refer to a phrase called "Goldfield's Syndrome", which is a form of amnesia that is caused by the damage in hippocampal region in the brain. However, this disease is very much fictional and in reality, is known as anterograde amnesia. Anterograde amnesia is what Whitmore's condition is actually known as. It is when a person can no longer form long-term memories and that have occurred after a specific event, like a tragic car accident. Therefore, while all of Whitmore 's memories are gained or experienced before the car accident, her memories are intact . For example, this incudes her childhood memories , people's names, w ho she is, and where she lives. Any and everything learned and /or experienced after the car accident is completely new to her, even if she experience s or learns something daily. W ith a hippocampal injury, the new memories provided cannot pass the hippocampus to enter the permanent storage section of the brain. Even though Whitmore can remember information before her accident , she cannot fully process the new information, such as declara tive memory, for more than twenty-four hours . She can encode the new information for a day but cannot properly store the new information to remember later ing her life. This concludes that she cannot retrieve experienced or learned from new information . On the other hand, s ome memories, such as procedural memories, occasionaly can be formed with the hippocampus
After watching the movie and learning information throughout class lectures and the textbook, I believe that this movie demonstrated memory and anterograde amnesia very a ccurately. Throughout the movie there were demonstrations of numerous types of memory problems. Whitmore's character was purposely the main subject of memory loss and experienced the causeful symptoms. She showed that she could take in new information but could not store them correctly or permanetly . Also, s he showed her procedural memory by painting the w all every day, but does not show declarative memory because she wake s up every morning thinking it' s the same day. In conclusion , this movie accurately demonstrate d human memory and the process of short-term memory loss.