National Geographic

Permanent Present Tense: My Review of a Remarkable Book On Memory

Say the letters “H M” to a neuroscientist, and chances are he or she will nod knowingly. H.M. was a man who died in 2008. His full name was Henry Molaison, and a surgical procedure in the 1950s left him without much of his memory. Studies on his mind laid the groundwork for our understanding of memory today. In tomorrow’s issue of the Wall Street Journal, I review a remarkable biography of Molaison, written by MIT neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin, who studied him from their first meeting in 1962 till his death–and beyond. While it’s not a perfect, it is–pardon the pun–a memorable one.

There are 2 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Preston Garrison
    June 14, 2013

    I remember a review somewhere that claimed that HM’s surgery cut some neighboring fiber tracts in addition to removing the hippocampus, so interpretation of the results as far as function of particular areas is not as straightforward as it is often made out to be. Does the book deal with this?

  2. Ralph Dratman
    June 14, 2013

    Carl, that is an excellent review.

Add Your Comments

All fields required.

Related Posts