Neuroscience's famed patient dies

Henry Molaison (HM), a patient with amnesia who helped scientists to unlock the secrets to how the brain processes learning and memory, died last week at the age of 82. HM participated in thousands of memory studies over the past 50 years, after a surgery to cure his debilitating epilepsy in the early 1950s altered his ability to form new memories. "[HM] was an extremely cooperative and gentle human being," linkurl:Brenda Milner,;http://www.mcgill.ca/about/history/pioneers/milner/ a neuropsyc

Jennifer Evans
Dec 7, 2008
Henry Molaison (HM), a patient with amnesia who helped scientists to unlock the secrets to how the brain processes learning and memory, died last week at the age of 82. HM participated in thousands of memory studies over the past 50 years, after a surgery to cure his debilitating epilepsy in the early 1950s altered his ability to form new memories. "[HM] was an extremely cooperative and gentle human being," linkurl:Brenda Milner,;http://www.mcgill.ca/about/history/pioneers/milner/ a neuropsychologist from the Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University who studied HM for decades, told The Scientist. "He wanted to do something for science." HM's surgery involved removing sections of the right and left temporal lobe of the brain, fractioning the hippocampus. The procedure cured HM's seizures, but had an unintended consequence: although his intelligence was not affected, from 1953 onward new people, places and events slipped from his memory within a matter of seconds. Milner began...
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