Forgetful man dies

Pax Arcana

hmThe New York Times has a pretty interesting obituary of Henry Gustav Molaison, who died yesterday. For most of his life, Molaison was known publicly only as H.M. and was the most important test subject in the history of brain science (until I came along, natch).

H.M. suffered from profound amnesia, the result of an experimental brain surgery to cure his seizures. He remembered his name and where he grew up, but completely lost the ability to form new memories after the incident:

“He was a very gracious man, very patient, always willing to try these tasks I would give him,” Dr. Milner, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University, said in a recent interview. “And yet every time I walked in the room, it was like we’d never met.”

Among H.M.’s contributions to science were expirements that showed that the brain stores memories in at least two completely separate systems (one for names and faces and such, and another for subconscious learning, such as motor skills).

hmIn other news, The New York Times has a pretty interesting obituary of Henry Gustav Molaison, who died yesterday. For most of his life, Molaison was known publicly only as H.M. and was the most important test subject in the history of brain science (until I came along, natch).

H.M. suffered from profound amnesia, the result of an experimental brain surgery to cure his seizures. He remembered his name and where he grew up, but completely lost the ability to form new memories after the incident:

“He was a very gracious man, very patient, always willing to try these tasks I would give him,” Dr. Milner, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University, said in a recent interview. “And yet every time I walked in the room, it was like we’d never met.”

Among H.M.’s contributions to science were expirements that showed that the brain stores memories in at least two completely separate systems (one for names and faces and such, and another for subconscious learning, such as motor skills).

H. M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82  [New York Times]

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