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mccardey
04-25-2015, 06:36 AM
Do we have an expert on that? I'm looking for ideas that might have been floating around about PTSD and false or repressed memory and such. That it gets discredited later is not a problem. I just need some of the research about memory that was newish and current in the late 50s, early 60s.

mccardey
04-25-2015, 08:25 AM
if your writing fiction make it up, not all research and findings get published.

Thanks, but no - that won't work for this book.

cornflake
04-25-2015, 08:49 AM
Do we have an expert on that? I'm looking for ideas that might have been floating around about PTSD and false or repressed memory and such. That it gets discredited later is not a problem. I just need some of the research about memory that was newish and current in the late 50s, early 60s.

Are you meaning to conflate them in relation to one event?

I think you may have an issue there. May not, but I don't know of repressed memory stuff that was really floating about that era, though I may be wrong.

That didn't really take hold until the late 70s, 80s, afaik. There's a lot wrapped up in that though, and mostly that type of stuff, in recent bunk at least, has related to sexual abuse-type situations. That relates to what I think is the lack of stuff relating.

If you need stuff in that area, then you need a real expert, heh, or something maybe really specific or tied to something really specific, like a particular practitioner.

The PTSD is much more commonplace, though not much related to sexual abuse in that era in general. It was called Shell Shock, when treating WWI vets.


if your writing fiction make it up, not all research and findings get published.

That's not a good idea, in general. Also, most reputable research and findings get published, yeah. That's how science goes along.

cornflake
04-25-2015, 09:03 AM
I've been looking around just cursorily, and I've found a couple of papers and references to papers from the 50s on memory, but they seem to be all basic stuff, showing memory is malleable.

One on words, one with objects, like pre-Loftus Loftus type stuff.

mccardey
04-25-2015, 09:58 AM
I think you may have an issue there. May not, but I don't know of repressed memory stuff that was really floating about that era, though I may be wrong. .

Yes, that's my problem. I'm hoping that the Loftus studies might have been based on some free-floating theories that were around before then.

Basically, I have two very young University students in Australia in the late 1950s. One of them (a Science first-year) is making pronouncements about the other's memories, which don't make sense to her.
She was irritated. In those days she was often irritated with me, with my stories. She wanted to see them linked into a tidy narrative. I didn’t blame her.

‘False memory. It’s something you heard, or saw, or dreamed with the drugs they gave you. You’ve – what’s the word? Conflated.’

‘Oh, maybe.’

‘Of course you have. It’s a common thing. You were insane. All the psychopaths do it.’


I was hoping there might be a theory that was big then.

Your shell-shock might be something to use as a jumping-off point. She was in the war, and her trauma is secondarily war-related (not sexual abuse - loss of identity. Trauma issues in pre-verbal child refugees.).

Thank you.

mccardey
04-25-2015, 10:00 AM
Oh, Cornflake, I just read your second post. If you could PM me some links, I could use them as some kind of start. I'd appreciate that.

cornflake
04-25-2015, 10:41 AM
Oh, actually I think you're in better shape than I'd thought you were. I'd thought you were comingling the things, in someone who had abuse-related trauma and 'recovered memories' related to that type of thing.

What you want I think you can find.

I think you can see this (http://memory.wustl.edu/mcdermott-lab-publications/1999_stadler.pdf)- it's a later paper that references earlier studies, notably by Deese.


Deese’s (1959b) report examining intrusions to strongly
associated lists of words rested quietly in the literature,
known to only a few researchers until Roediger and McDermott
(1995) revived it. Because many of the lists (such
as the butterfly list) did not produce many intrusions, and
because the more famous work by Deese (1959a, 1965)
emphasized the power of associations in producing high
levels of veridical recall, the possibility of using this technique
to produce false memories was overlooked. Indeed,
because single-trial free recall usually leads to very small
numbers of intrusions, especially with unrelated word lists
(see Cofer, 1967; Roediger & Payne, 1985), there was every
reason to regard Deese’s (1959b) findings of high intrusion
rates with only a few of his lists with some suspicion.

This (http://people.umass.edu/~psyc241/RoedigerMcDermott1995.pdf)is the referenced experiment modeled after Deese's, which references some work from the 30s, which you can trace back too and your characters might well use as reference.

There's a lot of material on trauma in children in war from that era, Anna Freud did a bunch of stuff you can probably easily find and work outward from - try looking for her Report 12.

mccardey
04-25-2015, 10:45 AM
Oh, actually I think you're in better shape than I'd thought you were. I'd thought you were comingling the things, in someone who had abuse-related trauma and 'recovered memories' related to that type of thing.

What you want I think you can find.

I think you can see this (http://memory.wustl.edu/mcdermott-lab-publications/1999_stadler.pdf)- it's a later paper that references earlier studies, notably by Deese.



This (http://people.umass.edu/~psyc241/RoedigerMcDermott1995.pdf)is the referenced experiment modeled after Deese's, which references some work from the 30s, which you can trace back too and your characters might well use as reference.

There's a lot of material on trauma in children in war from that era, Anna Freud did a bunch of stuff you can probably easily find and work outward from - try looking for her Report 12.


There are not enough reps in the world. :Hug2: Thank you so much.

mccardey
04-27-2015, 01:36 AM
Sorry - I just want to bump this again, because there are more people around... (won't do it again. Promise. It's just that you Northerners are often asleep when the Southern Hemisphere is doing its research)

Pyekett
04-27-2015, 03:34 AM
mccardey, I can think of a few references floating about at that time which could be pieced together for your character's take on things, but I don't know that anyone actually did knit it together that way.

This is a rough sketch--if you want links or finer detail, let me know.

Sir Frederick Bartlett studied how the brain stores memories. His "War of the Ghosts" experiment in Remembering (1932) led him to conclude that memory is constructed through filters and interpretations, and that elements that don't fit are erased or transformed, sometimes into only tangentially related items. Memories have innate plasticity.

Wilder Penfield (with Herbert Jasper) used electrical probe stimulation of the to map sensory and motor areas of the brain for identifying triggers of epilepsy in Epilepsy and the Functional Anatomy of the Human Brain (1951). He found he could sometimes pull up memories or trigger vivid flashbacks by probing the temporal lobe of the brain. These were "perceptual illusions," or hallucinations, as well as dreams and memories. I'm pretty sure he tied this to the sensation of déjà vu.

Donald Hebb identified neural modelling as the mechanism for encoding of memories in The Organization of Behavior (1949). Memory coding occurs as connections between neurons are made through repeated coincidental use. Mirror neurons are taken to be a natural instance of Hebb's Rule: neurons that "fire together, wire together." This, together with the plasticity of memory and vividness of encoded "perceptual illusions," could well support a theory of conflation or false memory formation, if the neurons lined up just right.

mccardey
04-27-2015, 04:01 AM
You are wonderful, wonderful people. Thank you so much. :kiss:

Pyekett
04-27-2015, 06:15 AM
You're a bit of all right, yourself. Have at it, writer.

Alessandra Kelley
04-27-2015, 06:52 AM
Project Gutenberg online old books on psychology:
http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Psychology_(Bookshelf)

Most of them seem earlier than the period you're looking for.

bombergirl69
04-29-2015, 03:58 PM
What an interesting topic!

On the history of PTSD, I think "shell shock" was more in reference to WWI folks (my grandfather, sadly). In the 50s, they were using terms like "gross stress reaction" and where I would look would be on the history of how we understand the concept of "stress". You probably have this link http://www.brainline.org/content/2011/01/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-a-history-and-a-critique_pageall.html which is pretty basic but does mention WHO was working in this area (before we had the DSM) . The article linked above mentions Alexandra Adler who was highly instrumental in linking the concept of traumatic reaction to civilian experiences (fire) and deepening our understanding of how PTSD works.

As far as repressed memory goes, definitely you could find great stuff from Hebb -(and people who are familiar with memory research would certainly know his work), but the guy you have to look at is Bessel van der Kolk. He is really the leading guy in PTSD work, and has a lot to say about traumatic memory, how it differs from other sorts of memory, problems with encoding and retrieval and so forth. His work is very current though (but gives an excellent description of how we understand the legacy of trauma today)

Yes, repressed memory is highy controversial in our field but you are looking at how it was perceived in the 1950s, right? I think I would look up interference theory and memory, which I think was pretty dominant at the time. Of course, Freud's disciples would see it as a defense mechanism (Freud wrote about it).

No, this is not an area I would consider making things up as many,many people are very familiar with the history of memory research, trauma and cognitive psychology, and also...it's really cool stuff!!!

Good luck!

mccardey
04-30-2015, 02:04 AM
You've all been so helpful and the research has been so interesting that this aspect - which was almost a throwaway line - is really broadening the WiP, and the character.

Can't thank you enough. Come to Burradoo, and I'll spring for an afternoon tea at Dirty Jane's Antiques. (Burradoo is a quiet little village. Our businesses multi-task - and Dirty Jane's Vintage Teas are to die for.)

bombergirl69
04-30-2015, 04:15 AM
It's just so interesting - all the stuff on memory is great reading. We even did some of that - give people lists to memorize, then distract them with something, then have them report what they can remember, distract them while they are learning the list, and so on. you can see how they were looking then at trauma memories and why (according to that theory) people might have "repressed memories". But really , if I am remembering right (so verify this), they were thinking that "gross stress reaction" really had to do with soldiers and combat.

We are still learning so much today, and Bessel V de K is such a giant in this field. It would be really great for you to look at his stuff and then see how they thought of trauma earlier - you can see how the field evolved.

Of course, if that's the way your story goes! Not to go off on an irrelevant tangent, much like my ms!

Nymtoc
05-23-2015, 11:54 AM
What an interesting topic!

On the history of PTSD, I think "shell shock" was more in reference to WWI folks (my grandfather, sadly). In the 50s, they were using terms like "gross stress reaction" and where I would look would be on the history of how we understand the concept of "stress". You probably have this link http://www.brainline.org/content/2011/01/posttraumatic-stress-disorder-a-history-and-a-critique_pageall.html which is pretty basic but does mention WHO was working in this area (before we had the DSM) . The article linked above mentions Alexandra Adler who was highly instrumental in linking the concept of traumatic reaction to civilian experiences (fire) and deepening our understanding of how PTSD works.

As far as repressed memory goes, definitely you could find great stuff from Hebb -(and people who are familiar with memory research would certainly know his work), but the guy you have to look at is Bessel van der Kolk. He is really the leading guy in PTSD work, and has a lot to say about traumatic memory, how it differs from other sorts of memory, problems with encoding and retrieval and so forth. His work is very current though (but gives an excellent description of how we understand the legacy of trauma today)

Yes, repressed memory is highy controversial in our field but you are looking at how it was perceived in the 1950s, right? I think I would look up interference theory and memory, which I think was pretty dominant at the time. Of course, Freud's disciples would see it as a defense mechanism (Freud wrote about it).

No, this is not an area I would consider making things up as many,many people are very familiar with the history of memory research, trauma and cognitive psychology, and also...it's really cool stuff!!!

Good luck!

Yes. "Shell shock" (a term dating from World War I) or "combat stress" were more commonly used to describe what we now call PTSD, a term that is more recent. I woudn't use PTSD when writing about the 1950s.

Repressed memory was certainly discussed during the '50s, often as a part of Freudian theory.

Electrotherapy was being used quite a lot in psychiatric hospitals, and depending on what you're writing, you might want to mention lobotomy, which experienced a vogue in those days and was considered by some to be a cure-all--with often disastrous results.