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kuru

n. a progressive, ultimately fatal disease of the central nervous system that historically has affected the Fore people in the highlands of New Guinea. Symptoms include ataxia, tremors, difficulty in walking, and squint (strabismus). It is a prion disease, similar to Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, transmitted in cannibalistic rituals by eating the brains of individuals previously infected with the causative prion agent.

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Psychology term of the day

June 18th 2024

cryptomnesia

cryptomnesia

n. an implicit memory phenomenon in which people mistakenly believe that a current thought or idea is a product of their own creation when, in fact, they have encountered it previously and then forgotten it. Cryptomnesia can occur in any creative enterprise, as for example when an investigator develops a research idea that he or she believes is original whereas in actuality it can be documented that he or she saw or heard the idea at some earlier point in time. Also called inadvertent plagiarism; unconscious plagiarism.