What is Cryptomnesia
It has happened to everyone – you have a great idea that comes in a flash, a moment of creative genius born from pure inspiration. Perhaps it’s an incredible new invention, a captivating melody for an unwritten song, or even a deep-seated philosophical truth that makes you stop and exclaim, “I can’t believe no one’s ever thought of this before!”
And then, just as suddenly, comes the realization: you saw that invention in a magazine several years ago, heard that melody buried deep in some symphony you mostly slept through, or can recall the exact time and place where you read that revolutionary thought in a book.
What you have just experienced actually has a name. It is called cryptomnesia, and many argue that it is the source behind many works that are presented as original and unique. Although scientific inquiry in this field is still in its infancy, research experiments have revealed several factors that may explain why this phenomenon occurs.
When people are under a heavy cognitive load, the part of the brain that registers a moment as memory is not always tied to what “sticks” in the back of your mind. In other words, you’re more likely to think you came up with that clever joke on your own if you heard it on the radio while at work.
Context and Issues
Cryptomnesia has major implications in the realm of intellectual property rights. If the memory of where someone heard or saw something never comes to light in that person’s mind, he or she may continue to claim idea as his or her own in spite of striking resemblances to other works.
The human mind is extremely powerful and complex, capable of storing information almost photographically for years that may suddenly resurface without warning. If you’ve been accused of copyright infringement, cryptomnesia might play a role in your defense. Contact experienced San Jose criminal defense lawyer Daniel Jensen today by calling (408) 296-4100.