First Dates Example of Anterograde Amnesia

8 August 2016

First Dates Example of Anterograde Amnesia In the movie, 50 First Dates, Lucy Whitmore was in a car accident that affected her short-term memory loss. She was not able to remember anything after the wreck, only events that happened prior to the accident. Lucy wakes up every morning thinking it is October 13th of the last year, which was the day before her car accident. She was diagnosed with anterograde amnesia, which is the inability to create new memories after a traumatic experience. Lucy’s long-term memories still stay intact and she can recall everything and everyone she has met before October 13th.

Every morning after that day, she wakes up and completes the tasks she had planned for that day over again. Every night when she goes to sleep “her slate is wiped clean”, as said in the movie. Henry Roth meets Lucy and falls in love with her. He soon finds out Lucy’s disease and he takes on the challenge and commitment of helping Lucy regain and remember recent events. Henry reintroduces himself to Lucy every day as if it is their ‘first date. ” He has to come up with a new way everyday for her to fall in love with him all over again.

First Dates Example of Anterograde Amnesia Essay Example

Henry created a video that explained the wreck Lucy was in and about their relationship they had together. As Lucy watched the tape every morning she was able to eventually spend her days living where the tape had left off. Lucy chooses to forget everything she knows about Henry and to go their separate ways. Weeks later, Henry soon realizes that Lucy still remembers him even after eliminating everything. Lucy states that she doesn’t remember exactly who he is but she dreams about him every night and can vividly paint his face.

Lucy and Henry end up getting married and Lucy lives her life by watching videos everyday to remind her of who she is, what has happened to her, and where she left off from the previous day. In the book, PSYCH, chapter 6 talks about memory and the remembrance of things past and future. Anterograde amnesia is defined as “memory lapses for the period following a trauma such as a blow to the head, an electric shock, or an operation. In some cases the trauma seems to interfere with all the processes of memory” (Rathus, 2013).

It has been discovered that there is damage done to the hippocampus of the brain, which is the memory center of the brain. The hippocampus is “vital in storing new information even if we can retrieve old information without it… it is involved in relaying sensory information to parts of the cortex” (Rathus, 2013). People diagnosed with anterograde amnesia lose the “ability to pay attention, the encoding of sensory input, and rehearsal are all impaired” (Rathus, 2013). The movie, 50 First Dates, portrays anterograde amnesia very accurately. When people really have this condition they are essentially stuck in time.

Their brains are unable to encode new memories and store them in their short-term memory, just like it is seen in the character Lucy. Another way the movie is a valid example of anterograde amnesia is by the ending of the movie. When Lucy erases all information she has on Henry she still dreams about him and continually paints pictures of him. The reason for this is because the brain is actually encoding and storing the memories, but the people with amnesia cant access them. Lucy was able to unconsciously remember Henry and her feelings for him, but her mind couldn’t actually process them.

It also explains that the amnesia isn’t curable, as seen in the movie by Lucy watching a video everyday to remind her of who she is. There are numerous ways to learn how to adapt and adjust to the trauma but no cure. The movie shows many accurate examples and side effects of the real life disease anterograde amnesia. 50 First Dates shows the effects of someone not remembering a new day, and how much difficulty they go through. Not only does the movie give us a better understanding and knowledge of anterograde amnesia, it also shows how the person is helped to overcome their inability to remember.

I believe this movie demonstrates memory and anterograde amnesia very accurately. After watching it, most people are able to identify and be able to explain anterograde amnesia, which classifies 50 First Dates as successful. References Giarraputo, J. (Director). (2004). 50 first dates [Motion picture]. United States: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment :. Rathus, S. A. (2013). Memory: Remembrance of Things Past—and Future. PSYCH (3rd ed. , Student ed. , pp. 135-157). Belmont, Calif. : Wadsworth ;.

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