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University of Guelph
PSYC 2330
Francesco Leri

Final Notes Week 9: Multiple Memory Systems Declarative Memory Systems Declarative memory, also known as explicit memory, is conscious memory. It is knowledge of facts and events that includes both episodic (time-related data of past experiences) and semantic (fact-related) data. Declarative memory stores information about facts and the relationship between them i.e. who, what, when, where. The Amnesiac Patient H.M. Dr. William Beecher Scoville was a neurosurgeon at Hartford Hospital. Scoville established the Department of Neurosurgery at Connecticut's Hartford Hospital in 1939. He performed surgery on Henry Gustav Molaison (H.M) in 1953 to relieve epilepsy that led to damage of H.M.'s hippocampus. The hippocampal damage left him with a memory disorder. Dr. Brenda Milner is a Canadian neuropsychologist who has contributed extensively to the research literature on various topics in the field of clinical neuropsychology. Milner worked with patient H.M. and through her encounters with him, established her reputation as one of the most important neuroscientists of the twentieth century. Henry Gustav Molaison (H.M) suffered from epilepsy, a disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. In order to treat his epilepsy, Dr. Scoville performed a bilateral medial temporal lobe resection. The cause of epilepsy is in the tip of the temporal lobe and because this cause was so severe, both temporal lobes were removed (he was, essentially, experimental). Removal of both temporal lobes resulted in the loss of H.M.’s hippocampus, the cortex surrounding it (parahippocampal gyrus) and the amygdala. Seizure activity was greatly reduced but he developed a major loss of memory capacity. H.M. was widely studied from late 1957 until his death. His case played a very important role in the development of theories that explain the link between brain function and memory, and in the development of cognitive neuropsychology. H.M. memory disorder was selective in five important ways: 1. Higher-order perceptual, motor, and cognitive functions not affected (above average IQ, recognizes and names common objects, normal language) 2. Loss the capacity for new learning (anterograde amnesia) 3. The span of short-term memory was normal, but devastated by delays. 4. Spared remote memory 5. Spared other domains of learning and memory capacity Anterograde amnesia is the loss of the ability to create new memories after the traumatic event. It leads to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact. For example, H.M. scored zero on tests that assess the persistence of his memory for stories, lists of words and numbers, pictures, or any of a large range of other material. Although H.M.’s old memories were fairly unaffected, he was unable to create new memories. He could, however, do a variety of interesting tasks including sensory- motor learning tasks (i.e. drawing of a star in a mirror). He improved each day at this task, showing that he was able to learn new things even though he could not remember learning it. Similarly, he could perform percep
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