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Trauma And Memory

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Popular press and peer-reviewed articles differ in writing style, formatting, and content, given their different readerships. That is, popular press articles generally cater to the general public while peer-reviewed articles cater to academic scholars. This essay compares popular press and peer-reviewed articles to assess their differences, similarities, and potential uses. In pursuit of this assessment, this essay explores how the topic of trauma and memory is addressed in "Why Rape and Trauma Survivors Have Fragmented and Incomplete Memories," a popular press article from Time magazine and ""I Remember", "I Thought", I Know I Didn't Say": Silence and Memory in Trauma Narratives," a peer-reviewed journal from the academic journal Memory.…show more content…
More specifically, they describe how traumatic events trigger "a surge of stress chemicals" that impairs the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus (Hopper, 2014). Impairment of these brain regions affects what "is most likely to get encoded into memory," thus altering the ability of trauma survivors to accurately recall the events and details of traumatic events (Hopper, 2014). They cite "research" on brain physiology as evidence of their claims. For example, the authors cite "recent studies" to suggest the hippocampus enters a "super-encoding state" during a traumatic event, thus increasing the vividness of specific memories (Hopper, 2014). The specificity of such a "super-encoding state," however, also means that other memories are not encoded in our memory—thus, the appearance that trauma survivors have fragmented and incomplete memories. In conclusion, the authors state that an increased understanding of brain physiology may have implications on the admissibility of trauma survivors' statements in…show more content…
First, both articles address the topic of trauma and memory with respect to the psychological processes in trauma survivors. Both articles acknowledge the importance of neuropathology as having a role in memory impairment and recollection. Second, both articles make conclusions based on the evidence they present. The Time article concludes that advances in our understanding of brain physiology will affect the admissibility of victim narratives in court, while the Memory article uses Interpretive Poetics to make conclusions about future research on memory and the need to make disclosure of trauma narratives socially acceptable. With these factors in mind, popular press and peer-reviewed articles are beneficial in different situations. If someone wants to gain a general understanding of a topic, reading articles from popular press magazines such as Time would provide a good introduction for the topic. However, if someone wants to explore a topic in more detail, peer-reviewed articles would provide original research and analyses. Peer-reviewed articles also have citations to other pertinent papers, allowing readers to further their exploration of different topics of
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