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PSYC 309 (42)
Todd Handy (35)
Lecture 6


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PSYC 309
Todd Handy

NYT lec 6 article H. M., an unforgettable amnesiac, dies at 82 -can’t remember anything after 1940s -1953: had brain operation to correct seizures  profound amnesia, can’t form new memories -amnesia didn’t change his intellect or personality but couldn’t hold a job, lived in the moment -at 9 years old: HM hit head  started having seizures; at 27 he was blacking out frequently, had convulsions, and couldn’t work  tried treatment, didn’t work  removed two sections from the brain (including cutting into hippocampus)  HM changed -at the time scientists believed memory was throughout brain, brain lesions altered memory in unpredictable ways. At first thought HM’s memory problems couldn’t all be from surgery, thought effects from seizures or unrecognized damage too. -HM experiment: traced a star btw two other stars while looking at hand in mirror; every time he did it, he thought it was the first time BUT he got better at it overtime  must be two systems in brain for making memories: explicit and implicit -declarative memory: records names, faces, new experiences until consciously retrieved. Depends on medial temporal areas, especially hippocampus -motor learning system: subconscious; why you can ride a bike after years -HM’s short term memory fine: could hold onto thoughts for 20 seconds -holding onto thoughts without hippocampus impossible for HM -HM could do day to day tasks with memory from first 27 years of life -sensed he was contributing to a larger endeavor, not sure of details, bc of all the scientists in his life -HM had ‘gist memories’ of childhood: had memories but couldn’t place them in time or give you a narrative (ex target shooting in woods near his house) -took MRI scans of brain after his death to find out which parts of temporal lobes damaged and preserved his brain -HM thought he knew his researcher from high school Journal article (add prof title) Lec 6 Future decision-making without episodic mental time travel -deficits in episodic memory associated with deficits in ability to imagine future experiences (‘mental time travel’) -KC: has episodic amnesia, hippocampus damage; can’t recall past personal events and can’t imagine future personal events -KC systematically discounts value of future rewards (?) with similar rate and consistency of controls. BUT he can’t imagine uses for the rewards or give rationale for picking larger rewards :. Dissociation between imagination and making decisions for future, mental time travel not necessary to make decisions about future rewards -hippocampus damage  impairs episodic memory and ability to imagine future -future oriented decision making involves ability to choose btw small immediate reward and large later reward -ppl with hippocampal amne
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