50 First Dates


In the movie 50 First Dates, the main character, Lucy Whitmore, is an amnesiac who forgets everything from the day when she goes to sleep as a result of injury to her brain. The doctor in the film defines this as a lack of ability to convert short term memory to long term memory overnight. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the case. Short term memory only lasts from 10 to 15 seconds, not an entire day. If the memory isn't converted to long term memory by the end of those 10 to 15 seconds or if the person is not actively reviewing the information from that memory, the person will forget what was in the short term memory at the end of that time. Therefore, it is unlikely that Lucy has this problem. I am unsure, however, what exactly would be the mechanism by which Lucy doesn't remember any day after her accident. Someone in the movie that would have the problem that is associated with Lucy is Ten Second Tom, who only remembers ten seconds at a time. What is it that causes Lucy's anterograde amnesia? Does anyone know?50FirstDates.jpg


I really liked that you incorporated the movie 50 first dates. I'm not surprised that the movie wasn't necessarily correct because it is for our entertainment. I'm not sure what causes Lucy's anterograde amnesia. Obviously the accident caused her memory problem, but I'm not sure what part of the brain would play a factor into that.

Ha! Thanks for this. You just blew a plot hole so big in this movie, the Titanic could breeze on by. I almost wonder if the creators weren't combining aspects of alzheimer's with this anterograde amnesia to make for the story?

Awesome--knowing more about the way the brain works definitely makes it harder to suspend belief during movies with plots like in 50 first dates!

Being a fan of this movie, it was kind of a bummer to find out how it isn't exactly real at all, but it was easier to learn about something that we could almost go back to and use as something familiar to learn from! It's always great to be more educated on different subjects, like this, but sometimes it sucks because it can sometimes ruin entertainment. It'd be interesting if they made a movie that actually followed the exact way a disease like amnesia plays out in someones life, and how that would do!

I agree that it was a bummer to find out that it wasn't real. When I saw the movie before I thought that the movie did reference an actual disease and now that I know it wasn't its a bit disappointing. However, I do understand it was for entertainment so they have to change some aspects in order to make it more interesting and funny.

I agree, it does take the reality out of the movie, but it's just a reminder to show you that movies aren't real. Now, it would have been realistic if the movie was based on Ten Second Tom because that is correct, whereas her ability to forget everything at the end of the night is the complete opposite of short-term memory. I'm glad that somebody decided to do this. Great job.

I think you make a very interesting point especially how the movie was incorrect based on what we have learned about short and long term memory in class. I also liked how you chose a movie with this type of error as an example to explain what we have learned from lectures and the book.

I absolutely love this movie! Though I do have to add that your blog sort of took the fun out of the movie, but its okay; I forgive you. On another note, I really like the points that you made by incorporating Ten Second Tome. Of course, movies are made for entertainment and not exactly true most of the time. Good job! :)

wow! I’ve seen this movie a couple of times and well of course I always thought that what the doctors said about Lucy was right. But taking into account that it is a movie and having seen how the memory process works, you are right. Ten second tom is definitely a great example of not being able to pass information from short term memory to long term memory. (Cant imagine what that would be like, don’t think I want to find out though!).

I remember the first time I watched this... Even though I knew NOTHING about psychology or memory or anything, I still remember thinking this kind of memory loss seemed strange... It did make for a lovely film, in my opinion, but it doesn't make much actual sense... Honestly, I think most films that have psychological components seem to eschew actual science... But that is what makes them such fun! This movie did however, do a good job with the people who were institutionalized for memory issues though. It was a brief part of the movie, but it seemed to stay more true to symptoms of memory loss!

I like your article and the "50 first dates" is a terrific movie and I love it. Short-term memory is a very bizarre thing for me, usually it only can store information happened in 10-15 seconds, and however, I often endorsed some article and find out endorsing something is really helpful for short-term memory.

I know a person who has short term memory loss and it is extremely hard to communicate with the person because he forgets everything. I was kind of expecting that this movie was innacurate because of the length in which she main actress was able to retain her memories then recall them.

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This page contains a single entry by phil0836 published on March 4, 2012 4:56 PM.

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