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 [email protected]


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.