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View Diary: Exits, 2008 (204 comments)

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  •  HM's loss had some intriguing holes, (6+ / 0-)

    and sometimes remarkably touching ones.

    My recollection from reading case studies is that while he was thought to be without episodic memory for events after the surgery, he could still remember John Glenn's being the first American in space, and that JFK had been assassinated. While he couldn't remember what a hippie was, he knew an astronaut was a person who goes into space. He never learned to recognize the simple puzzles he constantly got better and better at, but he did learn the identities of the people he saw frequently, like Dr. Suzanne Corkin; he knew her name and her face, at least, and that they were friendly, although he thought she was a high-school acquaintance.

    And he knew, as he stated in an interview on NPR, that something terrible had happened to his memory and that he was living in an institution; but he also believed that science was progressing through studying him, which was also true.

    I like to think that he could cherish that thought, when he reflected that nearly everything that came after his teenage years was blank in his mind.

    My nametag says, "Yes, I can help you." Don't believe everything you read.

    by Shaviv on Wed Dec 31, 2008 at 04:54:48 PM PST

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