Cognitive Neuroscience Society
A relatively new area of the literature on human response to trauma, particularly the trauma experienced during sexual violence, is that of tonic immobility. Defined as self-paralysis, or as the inability to move even when not forcibly restrained, tonic immobility has long been studied in non-human animals as the freeze response to extreme stress.
James Hopper and David Lisak, 2014
In states of high stress, fear or terror like combat and sexual assault, the prefrontal cortex is impaired sometimes even effectively shut down by a surge of stress chemicals.
Why are memories of sexual assault so often fragmentary and confusing? The answer has big implications for people who’ve been sexually assaulted, for those who investigate and prosecute such crimes, and for everyone else who knows or works with someone who’s been sexually assaulted.
Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D. December
Dr. Campbell discuss the research on the neurobiology of trauma and the criminal justice system response to sexual assault. She will explain the underlying neurobiology of traumatic events, its emotional and physical manifestation, and how these processes can impact the investigation and prosecution of sexual assault.
Abuse is a traumatic experience. When a person experiences abuse, their responses to protect them in the short and longer term are instinctive. knowing how and why means that you can recognise these responses and be more effective in what you do.
Jim Hopper, Ph.D.
This article provides an introduction to the impact of trauma on memory and recollection, including how traumatic events may affect an individuals ability to recall or give proper sequence to details, including information that an objective observer (and even the victim/survivor/ complainant) would deem vital and seemingly unforgettable.