dissociation contd

Pathology
From a psychological perspective, dissociation is a protective activation of altered states of consciousness in reaction to overwhelming psychological trauma. After the patient returns to baseline, access to the dissociative information is diminished. Psychiatrists have theorized that the memories are encoded in the mind but are not conscious, ie, they have been repressed.
In normal memory function, memory traces are laid down in 2 forms, explicit and implicit. Explicit memories are available for immediate and conscious recall and include recollection of facts and experiences of which one is conscious, whereas implicit memories are independent of conscious memory. Further, explicit memory is not well developed in children, raising the possibility that more memories become implicit at this age. Alterations at this level of brain function in response to trauma may mediate changes in memory encoding for those events and time periods.
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