Shift in awareness of location and surroundings
A woman had a stroke and suffered short term memory loss. Her most recent memory seems to be of 20 years ago in the past and at a location in another country. She seemed to have lost awareness of her current location and surroundings. (1) When she was told about recent events, she vehemently denied them, saying that those events did not occur and could not have occurred. (2) When asked if she was aware of where she is in the present, she answered that she is at such and such a place, a place where she was at 20 years ago.
The responses to both (1) and (2) seem to indicate a shift in cognizance and mental awareness of place, location, surroundings and circumstance. Response to (1) can be explained by short term memory loss. Response to (2) however seems to indicate a shift in cognizance and awareness by mentally substituting or replacing the lack of contemporary awareness of location by past awareness of place, location and related surroundings from long term memory.
Shift in cognizance
The response to (2) seems to indicate that the loss of cognizance and awareness of the subject’s current location due to short term memory loss is replaced by past awareness of location, and that the subject’s unawareness of current location is replaced by awareness of location and surroundings of the past from long term memory.
In other words, awareness of location and surroundings in long term memory mentally replaces the lack of awareness of current location and surroundings due to short term memory loss.
Manifestation of this mental memory replacement
This mental memory replacement of contemporary unawareness of location by past awareness of location and surroundings prompted an urgent need to go in search of the past surroundings. In a sense, it is an urge to find the surroundings that do not exist in the present at the present location but did exist in the past and at the location of 20 years ago.
Another way of looking at this replacement is that long term memory of past location and surroundings seems to provide a basis for contemporary delusion.