Neuroscientist Dr. Doping speaks about the history of the disease Henry Molaison, the role of the hippocampus and areas of the brain responsible for memory. What is the medical history of the patient Henry Molaison operated on by a neurosurgeon in 1953? As this medical case affected the development of the science of memory? And what areas of the brain associated with memory impairment?
Henry Molaison in 1953 at the age of 27 years was operated by American surgeon William Scoville due to the fact that he had epilepsy. Apparently, this happened to him because of the injury when he collided with a Pass bike as a boy of 10 years. For 27 years it became so heavy that it required neurosurgical intervention. William Scoville decided to remove areas that he thought were associated with the development of an epileptic seizure. During the operation, he extracted from the two areas of the brain of the parties, which are called the hippocampus (hippocampus - "sea horse" in Greek - is a structure that lies beneath the cerebral cortex), the amygdala - a structure that lies next to the hippocampus - and a piece of the temporal cortex. When the effects of anesthesia have passed, I discovered two things: epilepsy became less pronounced, though not completely gone, but there was a tragic thing. When the patient woke up, it turned out that he does not remember anything that happened to him before, moreover, he was not able to figure out where he is, he could not remember the way inside the chamber even to the toilet or to the cafeteria.
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Because of what happened, we know that the brain has a different system, we know that certain areas, such as the hippocampus and the temporal cortex, may be specifically associated with memory impairment without disturbing intelligence, consciousness, attention, emotion, humor, and so on. The amazing thing, which is associated with this history and brings to the study of science, was discovered Brenda Milner and her staff of about 10 years of research. They suddenly found out that NM Not only could not remember new things, he was also a retrograde amnesia. He remembered two events of his youth, who are constantly told by their doctors. One episode from the age of ten, and the second from the age of thirteen, when he for the first time and took a ride on an airplane. These were the things he remembered vividly. More adulthood his memory begins to dissolve in the mist, the last few years before the surgery, he could not remember. These data and observations have shown him that the hippocampus is necessary not only to ensure that the new memory was formed, that we remembered some events, but somehow it keeps the memory of a person for a certain period after it is formed.
An important discovery in the science of memory, which took place due to this tragic case is that after several years of research by Henry M. Brenda Milner, and then other psychologists working with him, found that he had not gone all the memory and he I have not lost the ability to some types of memory. In other words, it became clear that a person has a different memory system, and they are located or dependent on different systems in the brain.