After an amnesic state the individual is unable to report awareness for events that occurred during that period. It is possible, however, that there may be differences between conscious responsivity (awareness) and autonomic responsivity. The question arises as to the possibility of a lack of knowledge at a conscious level and the possibility of an emotional response as measured by physiological activity. The purpose of the study was an attempt to determine if there is a difference in responsivity at these levels in the amnesic individual.
The literature on emotional disturbance and its effect on physiological responsivity is well reviewed,1,2 and there is no indication that the results in a case of amnesia would be distorted. There is some evidence3 that past emotional experiences that do not appear in the voluntary system can be demonstrated at the autonomic level.
Subject.—(Case History) The subject was
WIGGINS SL, LOMBARD EA, BRENNAN MJ, HECKEL RV. Awareness of Events in Case of Amnesia. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;11(1):67-70. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720250069008