The name of the character created by the novelist Robert Ludlum and embodied on the screen by Matt Damon, would be a namesake – authentic for the blow – of a famous medical case of a man of the nineteenth century who suffered from the same disorders …
“On the 15th day of this March, around 5am, he heard an explosion like a gunshot, and woke up to find himself in a strange bed, in a town he did not know”. No, this is not a line taken from the (mis) adventures of Agent Jason Bourne, created by prolific novelist Robert Ludlum, and wonderfully adapted on the big screen by Doug Liman with La Mémoire dans la peau, including the saga has just landed on Netflix.
Yet it is indeed a Bourne, authentic this one, but who lived in the XIXth century, and whose surname would be the source of inspiration for that of the spy novel. Born in 1826 and died in 1910, Ansel Bourne was an American evangelical preacher from Rhode Island.
He remained famous in the Annals of Medicine because he was one of the very first documented cases of scientific study of a person suffering from dissociative amnesia, which would have started partially in his home around 1857. Evangelical pastor in one life, and “simple” maker, owner of a small shop in another, under the name of AJ Brown.
On March 15, 1887, he woke up one good morning without knowing where he was and without remembering what he had done for the two previous months, still thinking it was January. After returning home with the help of his nephew, psychology professor William James, of Harvard University, and Richard hodgson, a famous parapsychologist, went to his home to examine him. Under hypnosis, Ansel Bourne revealed that he could switch from one personality to another, without the two ever meeting.
Selective dissociative amnesia
Jason Bourne also suffers from dissociative amnesia. Interestingly, a psychiatrist, Dr. Reef Karim, a researcher at the University of UCLA in California, was asked to comment on the character’s case in the DVD supplements to the film. Here is his diagnosis.
“Jason Bourne has all the symptoms of dissociative amnesia. If you ask a psychoanalyst what dissociative amnesia is, he will tell you that unconsciously the patient is suffering from conflict, that he is under pressure. hold of a strong impulse. Jason is obsessed with his job of killing someone. But subconsciously he feels that maybe he shouldn’t be doing this, that it’s not right. In that case, when we change our behavior, sometimes we forget what has traumatized us so much “ explains the scientist.
Who adds: “If it is dissociative amnesia, we no longer remember who we are. It is almost a defense process. A need to separate from oneself, so that it is easier for it to be. look in the face. In the film, it is a selective dissociative amnesia. They make him forget who he is, but left him with a kinesthetic memory “.
When a person has a kinesthetic memory, the actions of an individual must take precedence in his learning to stimulate his concentration. His body retains the information because somehow a kinesthetic remembers what he is doing. To work on his memory, the kinesthetic must perform movements.
And it is an understatement to say that, in this register, the gestures transforming Jason Bourne into a killing machine come back to him very quickly in the trials he is going through, like an automatism …