What's new with the amnesic patient H.M.?

Abstract

H.M. became amnesic in 1953. Since that time, nearly 100 investigators, first at the Montreal Neurological Institute and since 1966 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have participated in studying him. We all understand the rare opportunity we have had to work with him, and we are grateful for his dedication to research. He has taught us a great deal about the cognitive and neural organization of memory. We are in his debt.

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Figure 1: Multiplanar views of 18 averaged T1-weighted MRI volumes showing preserved structures in H.M.'s MTL.
Figure 2: Evidence of postmorbid acquisition of semantic knowledge.
Figure 3: Spatial processing network proposed by McNaughton et al.
Figure 4: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation in H.M.'s caudal parahippocampal gyrus during novel picture encoding.

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Acknowledgements

I thank B. Tickle for providing a computerized floor plan of his house; G. Papadimitriou, J. Van Meter and T. A. Zeffiro for the post-processing of H.M.'s MRI scan; and M. Keane, E. Kensinger, B. Milner, G. O'Kane and A. Wagner for commenting on earlier versions of this paper. I am grateful to the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Clinical Research Center and the staff of H.M.'s nursing home for their excellent cooperation.

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FURTHER INFORMATION

amnesia

hippocampus

learning and memory

memory: clinical disorders 

MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences

hippocampus

memory

memory, human neuropsychology

memory storage, modulation of

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Corkin, S. What's new with the amnesic patient H.M.?. Nat Rev Neurosci 3, 153–160 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn726

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