Scoville and Milner 1957: HM Case

Report
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Anterograde Amnesia: Refers to the loss of memory
after an incident. The person cannot store new
information into their short term memory. (Ex: 50 First
Dates)
Hippocampus: A ridge in the floor of each lateral
ventricle of the brain, thought to be the center of
emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous
system
Autonomic Nervous System: The part of the
vertebrate nervous system that regulates involuntary
action, as of the intestines, heart, and glands, and
that is divided into the sympathetic nervous system
and the parasympathetic nervous system
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H.M. suffered from severe epilepsy and had surgery to
remove his bilateral medial temporal lobe, which they
believed was were the seizures were coming from.
The results of memory loss were immediately seen after
This procedure was tested on 8 other psychotic patients
The amount of memory loss is affected by the amount of
removal of the hippocampus
Technical skills and earlier memories were left intact
› Remembering family
› Knowing how to eat, drink and shower
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Personality traits and amount of intelligence were still the
same
This case is now used as a study of the results of bilateral
medial temporal lobe resection and is also used as a
“warning” of the surgeries’ effects.
The hippocampus is one of the parts removed during the bilateral medial temporal lobe
resection. It is thought to be the center of emotion and memory. The amygdala is linked to the
formation of emotional memories, controlling fear responses, arousal and aggression.
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Henry Gustav Molaison
Born on Feb. 26,1926; died on Dec. 4,2008 of
respiratory failure at a nursing home in Windsor Locks,
Conn.
Could only remember the first 27 years of his life until
1953
Suffered with severe amnesia for the next 55 years of
his life
Recognized as the most important patient in brain
science history and is one of the top 10 studies in
Psychology
The beginning of his epilepsy is argued to have
began when he was hit by a bicycle rider when he
was 9
Neylen, T. 2000. Memory and the Medial
Temporal Lobe: Patient H. M.
NEUROPSYCHIATRY CLASSICS. Retrieved
from
http://web.mit.edu/bnl/pdf/Scoville_Miln
er_1957.pdf
 Benedict, C. (2008, December 4). H. M.,
an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82.
The New York Times. Retrieved from
http://www.nytimes.com
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