H. M's Loss Of Memory

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Memory is the way our brain stores and remembers information. Henry Gustav Molaison, alias patient H.M, established fundamental principles for how memory is organized in the brain. H.M redefined memory; before H.M, it was thought that memory required the whole brain or at least the whole cerebral cortex to engage. Through decades of observing H.M, it became evident that were different kinds of memory, with different regions in the brain. His loss of memory led to the discovery of how our memory works. H.M suffered from epileptic seizures for many years after having a bicycle accident as a boy. When H.M was 27 years olds, neurosurgeon William B. Scoville sanctioned out H.M's hippocampus in attempt to reduce the seizures. Dr. Scoville was successful, but the suctioning of the seahorse-shaped brain structure resulted in memory loss. Before the surgical procedure, doctors were unaware that the hippocampus was also essential for making memories. …show more content…
The removal of the hippocampi on both sides of H.M's brain led to anterograde amnesia or "forward" amnesia which is the inability to remember new information. He also suffered from temporally graded retrograde amnesia or "backward" amnesia which is the inability to remember consolidated information, especially episodic events. Consolidation refers to the reinforcement of short-term memory, causing the information to become permanent or long term memory. H.M functioned normally except for the absence of long term memory; new memories were unable to be consolidated since without a hippocampus, information was unable to strengthen the cortical synaptic connections and transfer the memory back to the cortex to become permanent storage. H.M was only capable of short-term memory: he could only remember new information for a really short period of