Imagine waking up every morning for 50 years without any recollection of what you had done or whom you had met the day before. Henry Gustaf Molaison — known only as HM prior to his death in 2008 — experienced this degree of amnesia after a brain surgery in 1953 that cured his epilepsy but destroyed his ability to form new memories.
APS Fellow and Charter Member Brenda Milner is widely recognized for her work with HM. Milner, who is considered one of the most important neuroscientists of the 20th century, will be speaking about her career with social psychologist and writer Carol Tavris at the 24th APS Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Milner’s work with HM showed that people have multiple memory systems and laid the foundation for a better understanding of how the brain works. Her accomplishments are highlighted Claudia Hammond’s BBC radio feature. More on Brenda Milner and HM is available in this video from McGill University, PBS’s NOVA, and Antionio Orbe’s recent Alt1040 blog on memory in adults.