Awareness and implicit memory during anaesthesia and the waking state

  • Emma Loveman

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Implicit memories affect performance without conscious or intentional control. The investigation of this implicit influence on ones behaviour can provide insights into the underlying processes involved in memory processing. Furthermore, the study of implicit memory can be applied to the study of the amnesic syndrome and the study of awareness during anaesthesia for example. This thesis presents a number of findings relating to the field of implicit memory, which have implications for the study of implicit memory in the waking state and during anaesthesia. Discussion of theories in regard to implicit memory in the waking state are given, along with consideration of the study of implicit memory during sedation and anaesthesia. In addition to this latter point, the thesis also promotes the use of measures to monitor the depth of anaesthesia when investigating memory and awareness during anaesthesia. An auditory version of the word stem completion test was designed and used throughout the experimental stages of the thesis. Key findings include a demonstration of robustness of the test over a 24 hour time delay, over a change in study to test presentation mode, and in populations of varying ages. Moreover, an illustration of a method to exclude the possible contaminating effects of conscious memory processing on implicit memory tests is given. Finally, consideration of the results of the experiments of this thesis and those previously reported suggests that no implicit memory of events is taking place during adequate anaesthesia
    Date of Award2005
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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