Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

Differentiating dissociation and repression

John Morton a1
a1 Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London WC1N 3AR, United Kingdom


Now that consciousness is thoroughly out of the way, we can focus more precisely on the kinds of things that can happen underneath. A contrast can be made between dissociation and repression. Dissociation is where a memory record or set of autobiographical memory records cannot be retrieved; repression is where there is retrieval of a record but, because of the current task specification, the contents of the record, though entering into current processing, are not allowed into consciousness. I look at hypnotic amnesia and dissociative identity disorder in relation to this contrast.