Dissociation : Vol. 5, No. 3, p. 150-154 : Dissociation and memory: a two-hundred-year perspective
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Since it first came under systematic scrutiny two hundred years ago, dissociation has pointed out certain peculiarities of memory. The discovery of magnetic sleep in 1784 revealed that there are separate consciousnesses that operate within an individual, each with a distinct memory chain. The lack of awareness of one consciousness for the experience of the other was called amnesia. Further experimentation showed that those consciousnesses could be multiple, and that different experiences could be assigned to different centers of consciousness. This indicated that the terms "amnesia" or "forgetting" do not really apply, since information assigned to one center was not known by the other centers in the first place. In the 1890's this "dissociated" way of functioning came to be seen by many as normal and common to all human beings. The theory of state-related memory, arising in the 1960's confirmed this view. Later, the BASK model provided a framework for synthesizing a broad array of data about dissociation. Most recently, the concept of cultural dissociation points out the need to retrieve and reclaim a wide variety of human experiences that have been interdicted by our culture and barred from mainstream thinking.