The Oxford Biblical Studies Online and Oxford Islamic Studies Online have retired. Content you previously purchased on Oxford Biblical Studies Online or Oxford Islamic Studies Online has now moved to Oxford Reference, Oxford Handbooks Online, Oxford Scholarship Online, or What Everyone Needs to Know®. For information on how to continue to view articles visit the subscriber services page.

Related Content

Related Overviews


More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Science and technology
  • Psychology


Show Summary Details


mnemic symbol

Quick Reference

In psychoanalysis, a hysterical symptom arising from a memory of a trauma or a conflict that has been repressed. In a key passage in an article on ‘The Neuro-Psychoses of Defence’ (1894), Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) described it as follows: ‘By this means the ego succeeds in freeing itself from the contradiction; but instead, it has burdened itself with a mnemic symbol which finds a lodgement in consciousness, like a sort of parasite, either in the form of an unresolvable motor innervation or as a constantly recurring hallucinatory sensation’ (Standard Edition, III, pp. 45–61, at p. 49).

Reference entries