This program looks at the complex process called memory: how images, ideas, language, and even physical actions, sounds, and smells are translated into codes, represented in the memory and retrieved when needed.
Throughout history psychological case studies have been accepted as the most accurate way of investigating individuals who show psychiatric and psychological abnormalities that deviate from what we consider being ‘normal’ human behavior. Looking back at, probably, the most famous of all examples – Freud’s work and theories that we still use to this day were very much developed via his use of in-depth case studies.
Psychology Case Studies:
In general, a case study comes under one of two types; prospective or retrospective.
• Prospective case study writing involves the observance of the client, or a group of people. An example of a prospective case study might be to watch a group of people with a various disorder over a defined period of time (this could be weeks, months or even years). By observing and documenting any changes, and the differences between the individuals, it will be possible to see how the disorder progresses – and if there are any differences caused by age, sex, social standing, education etc.
• In the case of a retrospective case study, your information comes from looking at documented cases – in other words, the historical information that is available. Let’s take the same example – a particular disorder. This disorder is the outcome, but you would then work backwards, defining any particular factors that might (or might not) have contributed to why these people contracted the problem in the first place. If a person is born with some disorder, you could use hereditary factors to see if you could define any particular factors in the parents or grandparents that might have led to them being born with that particular condition.
What are case studies? When are they used? What are their limitations?
"AMNESIAC" Classroom Presentation - Dr. Scoville's procedure to remove the Hippocampus in Henry Molaison.
Henry Gustav Molaison (February 26, 1926 – December 2, 2008), known widely as H.M., was an American man who had a bilateral medial temporal lobectomy to surgically resect the anterior two thirds of his hippocampi, in an attempt to cure his epilepsy. Although the surgery was partially successful in controlling his epilepsy, a severe side effect was that he became unable to form new memories.
The remarkable and poignant story of Clive Wearing, a man with one of the worst cases of amnesia in the world. Once a renowned conductor and musician, Clive was struck down in 1985 by a virus that caused massive damage to his brain. Against the odds, doctors managed to save his life but he was left with a memory that spans just seven seconds.
Clive Wearing was in his 40s when he came home with a headache. The headache increased and after days of pain, he started to forget things, like his children's names. It was determined that Wearing had viral encephalitis, which damaged both the left and right temporal lobe and even the frontal lobe. According to psychologists and doctors, Wearing's hippocampus was completely eradicated by the disease. This gave him what is called anterograde amnesia, which refers to the inability to make or keep memories. However, Wearing also has retrograde amnesia, which refers to losing previous memories as well.
The hippocampus has long been known to be related to memory. It is the tool that transforms short-term memory to long-term. Unfortunately, Wearing does not have this capability. However, his memory issues are even worse than that. Wearing cannot even keep information in short-term memory for longer than 30 seconds, and sometimes as little as seven seconds. The virus took all memory from Wearing except for the love he has for his wife and his ability to play music. This seems to be immutable and unchangeable.
Clive Wearing was a talented musician, conductor, and singer prior to the illness. His talent was well noted by his peers and is also something that he seems to still know. Wearing can play the piano but quickly forgets doing so, leaving him constantly unaware of his own talents. He also does not remember ever hearing music, yet his capability and skill have not been affected. This is considered muscle memory or procedural memory, which refers to actions.
Deborah Wearing, his wife, has stayed with him during the illness and the resulting memory loss. Wearing is now living in an assisted living facility so he can he helped full time, but he is constantly visited by his wife. He has no memory of her visits, yet he is still excited by her nonetheless. He keeps a diary, and in that diary, he writes about his love for his wife, stating her name even after she is gone. His diary is a contentious issue for Wearing as well. This loss of memory is an example of another long-term memory type, which is declarative memory. Declarative memory has to do with events, people, places, and even speech. The fact that Wearing has these two types of memory loss, and they come from both types of memory is unique.
Amnesia refers to the loss of memories, such as facts, information and experiences. Though forgetting your identity is a common plot device in movies and television, that's not generally the case in real-life amnesia.
Instead, people with amnesia — also called amnestic syndrome — usually know who they are. But, they may have trouble learning new information and forming new memories.
Amnesia can be caused by damage to areas of the brain that are vital for memory processing. Unlike a temporary episode of memory loss (transient global amnesia), amnesia can be permanent.
There's no specific treatment for amnesia, but techniques for enhancing memory and psychological support can help people with amnesia and their families cope.
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