Permanent Present Tense

The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesic Patient, H. M. by Suzanne Corkin

By Susan Gaidos, 11:52 AM July 11, 2013

Sixty years ago, 27-year-old Henry Molaison underwent an experimental operation in a last-ditch attempt to stop his debilitating epileptic seizures. By removing tissue from each side of Molaison’s brain, the surgeon helped quell the attacks but destroyed his patient’s ability to form new memories.

At the time, scientists didn’t know that the ability to establish long-term memory was centered in a specific part of the brain. In fact, they knew little about the workings of memory. Molaison’s uni...

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