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Memory – Cognitive Theories

5. Amnesia

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In this module, we think about amnesia, a clinical condition associated with significant memory loss. We begin by differentiating between two types of amnesia: (i) anterograde amnesia, which affects a person’s ability to form new long-term memories, and (ii) retrograde amnesia, which affects memories formed in the past. We then move on to discuss the case of Henry Molaison, known as ‘H.M.’, who suffered from severe anterograde amnesia as a consequence of a surgery in which parts of his brain were removed. Next, we consider the case of Kent Cochrane, known as ‘K.C.’, a patient who suffered from retrograde amnesia due to brain damage caused by a motorcycle accident. Finally, we think about the possible causes of amnesia, including (i) surgery, (ii) traumatic accidents, (iii) Korsakoff syndrome and (iv) Alzheimer’s disease.


In this course, Dr Davide Bruno (Liverpool John Moores University) explores the cognitive psychology of memory and forgetting. Modules one and two begin by introducing the two main ways in which memory has been conceptualised by cognitive psychologists: the multi-store memory model, developed by Atkinson and Shiffrin in 1968, and the working memory model, developed by Baddeley and Hitch in 1974. We then move on in module three to looking at different types of long-term memory, including episodic, semantic and procedural memory. In module four, we think about the cognitive processes involved in forgetting, focusing in particular on retrieval failure and interference. The fifth module concludes the course with an overview of amnesia, a clinical condition associated with significant memory loss.


Davide Bruno was born in Italy and graduated in Psychology from the University of Parma, then obtained a PhD from Keele University (2007). After positions at the University of Southampton, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, the Nathan Kline Institute, New York University, and Liverpool Hope University, he joined Liverpool John Moores University as a Senior Lecturer. His interests are, broadly, memory, ageing and dementia.

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Bruno, D. (2019, September 27). Memory – Cognitive Theories - Amnesia [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bruno, D. "Memory – Cognitive Theories – Amnesia." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 27 Sep 2019,

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