So how would this affect a person? What happens if you forget from where you know something?
Usually if it goes too far people might recall fictional information as their own memories. For example if you know something from a totally unreliable source. But as you can’t remember where you learned that thing from you might end up thinking it came from a reliable source and it changes everything.
If source amnesia goes too far people might recall fictional information as their own memories. And if people go to extreme it could lead to a loss of reality.
In their lifetime most people will experience source amnesia. Actually source amnesia is one of the sources of urban legends. People remember things but they can’t remember where they heard of them. And that’s because most people think the information is more important than the source.
It seems the most common cause of temporal context memory deficits are caused by frontal lobe damage.
Another category deeply affected by source amnesia are the people with schizophrenia. Source amnesia is a signature trait in schizophrenia. Often people with Schizophrenia have problems remembering the source of memories.
This problem is often attributed to hallucinations and reality –monitoring dysfunctions which have an important contribution to the hallucinations that are characteristic for this disorder.
In the case of schizophrenic people source amnesia refers to the fact that those people with schizophrenia attribute their delusions and hallucinations to an external source. Also they can’t recognize themselves as the source of an idea and attribute their beliefs and ideas to external sources.
People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) also have a strong predisposition to source amnesia. That is mostly because of the recollections of the traumatic event which are strong and vivid while the rest of the memories are less vivid. People affected by a traumatic event have problems identifying the source of neural and emotional information.
Hypnosis is another possible of source amnesia. Post hypnotic source amnesia refers to the fact that people might remember things that happened during the amnesia or things they learned in that state but they might not remember the source of the information. Post hypnotic source amnesia can be suggested or spontaneous.
There are specific tests for the diagnosis of source amnesia. The tests used most often to diagnose source amnesia are Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Verbal Fluency test, Stroop Color Naming Test and Old New Recognition Test.
Research suggests that source amnesia could be prevented. Though the source amnesia is more prevalent, people without memory problems might experience source amnesia as well. But memory is better encoded if words or emotional stimulus are involved.
Source amnesia is very common in older adults due to the aging problems and the degeneration of the frontal lobe. Older adults can benefit from memory training programs that could help them improve their recalling abilities. Memory-training programs were proved to enlarge cortical thickness in the brain.
Another good measure is to make older people aware of the importance of the source and make them think about the context of a memory.