The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University


The Courage to Heal, by E. Bass and L. Davis (New York: Harper & Row, 1988).
This book is generally credited with starting the recent interest in recovered memory, whereby therapy helps an individual recover a supposedly "repressed" memory. The authors suggest that if an individual shows the symptoms associated with childhood incest (such as feelings of shame and worthlessness), then the individual probably did suffer abuse but has repressed the memory. Much of the current controversy about false memory syndrome arose in reaction to ideas publicized in this book.

Searching for Memory: The Brain, the Mind, and the Past, by Daniel L. Schacter. (New York: Harper Collins, 1997).
Daniel Schacter, a professor of psychology at Harvard University, explains what neuroscientists understand about how human memory works and what can happen when it does not -- including the phenomenon of false memory.

Published Articles

"Creating false memories", by E. Loftus. (Scientific American, September, 1997, p. 71-75).
The author shows how easy it can be to instill false memories in volunteers, casting doubt on whether we can really trust recovered memories.

"The formation of false memories", by E. Loftus and J. Pickerall (Psychiatric Annals, vol. 25,
p. 720-725).

This is a scientific article in a technical journal with further details about creating false memories in the laboratory.

"Memory on Trial", by C. Gorman (Time, April 17, 1995, p. 54-55).
A review of the controversy over recovered memory and false memory syndrome.