Permanent Present Tense tells the incredible story of Henry Gustav Molaison, known only as H. M. until his death in 2008. In 1953, at the age of 27, Molaison underwent a dangerous "psychosurgical" procedure intended to alleviate his debilitating epilepsy. The surgery went horribly wrong, and when Molaison awoke he was unable to store new experiences. For the rest of his life, he would be trapped in the moment. But Molaison’s tragedy would prove a gift to humanity.
The amazing specificity of his impairment shed new light on the functions and structures of the human brain, revolutionizing neuroscience. Today, the case of H. M. stands as one of the most consequential and widely referenced in this fast-expanding field.
Renowned neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin worked with Molaison for nearly five decades. In Permanent Present Tense, she tells the full story of his life and legacy, leading her listener to the cutting edge of neuroscience with great clarity, sensitivity, and grace.
©2013 Original material © 2013 Suzanne Corkin. Recorded by arrangement with Basic Books TM, a member of the Perseus Book Group. (P)2013 (p) 2013 HighBridge Company
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The author creates a tribute to a patient she studied over decades, and published it only after his death. The work serves as a beautiful illustration of how much our knowledge of memory has improved in the last 70 years.
Yes, she really presented her subject beautifully, and with respect.
The patient's unerring grace despite having little recognition of any one person from one day to the next.
Yes, reminded me of the despair that the movie "Momento" must have felt at times.
Reminds me very much of listening to Oliver Sacks descriptions of prosopagnosia (inability to recognize faces) or Dr. Kandel's rat mazes at Columbia.
I did not read the print version.
H.M. -- Henry Molaison. Who else?
I had moments of laughter and moments of tears.
While I often got lost in the jargon of psychology and brain physiology, I found this heart-felt depiction of the life and the immense contributions of Henry Molaison to be fascinating and at times very touching.
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