Researchers explain why victims have a difficult time remembering certain details of violent events

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Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that she “will never forget” the key details of her alleged assault by Brett Kavanaugh, because “they have been seared into my memory.”

Her testimony echos research by Rutgers psychologist Tracey Shors, whose recent study found women who are sexually assaulted experience more vivid memories than women coping with the aftermath of other traumatic, life-altering events not associated with sexual violence.

“Each time you reflect on an old memory, you make a new one in your brain because it is retrieved in the present space and time,’’ said Shors, who co-authored the study published in Frontiers in Neuroscience.

“What this study shows is that this process can make it even more difficult to forget what happened.”

a woman sitting on a bench

It explains why Blasey Ford may have difficulty remembering certain details leading up to the party in question, but how she testified that she is “100 percent certain” that Kavanaugh assaulted her as a teen. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

It explains why Blasey Ford may have difficulty remembering certain details leading up to the party in question, but how she testified that she is “100 percent certain” that Kavanaugh assaulted her as a teen.

ABOUT THIS NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH ARTICLE

Source: Lisa Intrabartola – Rutger’s University
Original Research: Open access research for “Stressful Life Memories Relate to Ruminative Thoughts in Women With Sexual Violence History, Irrespective of PTSD” by Emma M. Millon, Han Yan M. Chang and Tracey J. Shors in Frontiers in Neuroscience. Published September 5 2018.
doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00311

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