What is amnesia?

Amnesia is a special type of forgetting. It is a condition characterised by forgetting or memory loss, particularly after a brain trauma. There are two types of amnesia that affect long-term memory:

  • Anterograde
  • Retrograde
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Antreograde Amnesia

Anterograde amnesia is the inability to store any new long-term memories folloeing a brain injury. 


  • Short term memory is left intact, so patients can process sensory information in that moment of time. However, there is an inability to lay down any new memories that last beyond a few moments.
  • The ability to transfer information from short-term to long-term memory is damaged.
  • As anterograde amnesia affects memory following a brain injury, it is typical for a patient to retain their long-term memories from before the incident.
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Retrograde Amnesia

Retrograde amnesia is where a patient who has suffered a brain injury cannot remember information from before the injury.


  • This forgetting could be specific to one memory, such as the traumatic incident that caused the injury, or it can be to a specific timem frame.
  • In severe cases, patients can forget who they are and where they came from.
  • It is possible for patients to regain some or all of their lost memories.
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