×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The Unforgettable Amnesiac

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the every-20-seconds-a-new-day dept.

Biotech 120

jamie found an account in the NYTimes of the life and death of one of the most important figures in modern neuroscience, Henry Gustav Molaison — a man who could not form memories. Molaison became an amnesiac after a brain operation in 1953. Known worldwide as H.M., Molaison was studied intensively for 55 years. Dr. Brenda Milner, a psychologist from Montreal, was the first researcher to visit Molaison. In 1962 she authored a landmark study demonstrating that a part of Molaison's memory was fully intact. "The implications were enormous. Scientists saw that there were at least two systems in the brain for creating new memories. One, known as declarative memory, records names, faces and new experiences and stores them until they are consciously retrieved. ... Another system, commonly known as motor learning, is subconscious and depends on other brain systems. This explains why people can jump on a bike after years away from one and take the thing for a ride, or why they can pick up a guitar that they have not played in years and still remember how to strum it. Soon 'everyone wanted an amnesic to study,' Dr. Milner said..."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

120 comments

What was I going to post? (4, Funny)

isBandGeek() (1369017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017511)

I forgot.

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

popeye44 (929152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017519)

Umm Frist post? is that what it was? Heck.. I know you got it and not me.. but who are you.

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017537)

I am me, who are you?
More importantly, what are we doing here?

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

f1vlad (1253784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017563)

Bedtime for y'all!

Re:What was I going to post? (4, Informative)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017859)

Let me fix this thread:

New Topic:

H.M. learned how to solve the Tower of Hanoi (documented by decreasing time to solve) but denied ever seeing the Tower of Hanoi before.

This is an example of some evidence that distinguished between semantic(facts) and episodic(event) memory systems.

Re:What was I going to post? (5, Interesting)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017905)

Here is another:

A scientist would tape a tack onto his palm. Then he would walk into the room with H.M. He would first ask him, "Have you ever seen me before?" H.M. would deny ever seeing the scientist before. Then they would shake hands. OUCH!! The scientist leaves the room, and comes back in two minutes. Rinse. Repeat. H.M. over and over would get poked by the tack.

Then one day: Scientist asks, "Have you ever seen me before?" H.M. denies seeing the scientist before. The scientist offers a hand to shake. H.M. refuses to shake hands. When asked why, H.M. responds,

"Sometimes scientists tape tacks on their palms."

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018031)

I was wondering if it was actually H.M. or another amnesic in the tack story. In so far as that fact, my memory was accurate. However, it appears I've embellished somewhat... here is the story in a google book [google.com] of Psychological Trauma and the Developing Brain By Phyllis T. Stien, Joshua C. Kendall

Re:What was I going to post? (2, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018589)

From that account, she (an amnesiac) didn't want to shake Dr. C's hand but didn't know the reason why.

Does make me wonder about our "gut feel" stuff and how accurate it is, and how it might be subverted. A lot of our decisions are not based on the "declarative" stuff.

Whether you choose chocolate or vanilla, fried chicken or something else. You might make up the reasons later (justify your decisions), but maybe your gut has already chosen. Of course if you see something gross, your gut gets informed about it and then you don't feel like eating anymore.

Re:What was I going to post? (2, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019291)

From that account, she (an amnesiac) didn't want to shake Dr. C's hand but didn't know the reason why.

Without disputing the Doctor's main conclusion, which goes well with the current mainstream understanding in psychology, and without having read the primary source of his study (the google sholar link only showed a summarized secondary source), I'd like to dispute the Doctor's particular line of thinking in this example (at least, the reasoning that I could glean from the secondary source, perhaps his actual study already addresses my concern).

The second time the Doctor extended his hand to the amnesic patient (the second time he was about to prick her), he must have been even more apprehensive that he was going to be discovered/remembered this second time around.

Fear only begets fear. Did he try to prick her the exact same way that second time? I doubt it.

People usually look at their hand when they fear getting bitten/burned. People also try to avoid making eye contact when they're apprehensive, also they'll wait until the last possible moment to act, and then when they do try to act -- they'll do it when the other person is slightly off balance -- and they'll try do it as quickly as possible (thus unintentionally compounding the surprise and the fear in the other person, and thus compounding their own fear even more since both people's fear would only reinforce each others).

Just imagine a pet that wants to petted by you, but that is already afraid of you. Would you pet such a dog? I doubt it. You would be afraid, right? Then the dog would even be more afraid of you because of your fear. It wouldn't have to be a previous bad memory with that exact same dog that triggers your fear. It's only the body language and the apprehensive vibe that the dog is giving off, and perhaps it could even be the result of a previous childhood memory with a different fearful animal, that is reminding you not to touch this particular fearful dog (although, that last postulation is just an hypothesis, I don't even know if this is what's true in this particular case).

No, this experiment of pricking this amnesiac should be repeated with an actual good dog trainer, an experienced horse trainer, or a professional poker player, not just a Doctor. And even then, this kind of experiment still wouldn't even be perfect. Its results would have to be interpreted very-very carefully still.

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019995)

A more scientific way of doing it would be to do a double blind test.

Of course the higher the number of samples, the larger the number of unpleasant incidents and the more potential for long term harm.

Perhaps you could try it for pleasant incidents to see if it works for that first.

Gut feel matters (1)

robla (4860) | more than 5 years ago | (#26022095)

It's funny, there was just a RadioLab show on NPR on this subject [wnyc.org] . They talk about another guy who had a different type of brain damage (tumor removal) which seemed to leave him normal at first, but made him horribly indecisive. They figured out that his emotional response center was damaged. Without the emotional push to make a decision, he would never feel pressure or other emotional drive to make the decision, and couldn't do it. The emotional part is apparently just as important as the logical part in making a decision.

Re:What was I going to post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26019701)

ah the fifties... no qualms about cruel experiments ...

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

Internalist (928097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020161)

Semantic and episodic memory are both subtypes of declarative memory. The ToH example showed that semantic memory (viz. declarative memory) is distinct from procedural memory (what Milner called motor memory).

Re:What was I going to post? (1)

sv0f (197289) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020801)

Actually, it's the difference between long-term declarative memory (which is subserved by the hippocampus, which HM had surgically resected, and the medial temporal lobe) and procedural memory (which includes cognitive skills, such as solving the TOH problem, and motor skills, and is subserved by a different network of brain structures that includes the basal ganglia).

Re:What was I going to post? (4, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017523)

See? Your motor-memory posting skills are obviously intact!

Re:What was I going to post? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017751)

Piss!

Re:What was I going to post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018267)

+1 Informative? Shit!

Re:What was I going to post? (-1, Offtopic)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018929)

Shit cocks!

What was I posting about? I forgot.

Oh, that's right.

HUMAN FECES ON A STICK.

Re:What was I going to post? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26019179)

I forgot.

How do you know?

Interesting case (4, Interesting)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017551)

I can't remember if it was this case or another, but in a cognitive psych class I had, we watched a video about a man who couldn't form new long-term memories. His own wife would walk into a room once, then a second time a few minutes later, and he'd greet her as if he hadn't seen her in years. The most disturbing part was the notebooks he kept. He would write, "Now I'm awake!" And "Now I'm *really* awake." He kept being on the verge of being able to remember his situation, but then losing it.

Re:Interesting case (4, Informative)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017623)

I think the guy you mean is Clive Wearing. Whenever showed his earlier writings, he denied being responsible for them. Over time his caretakers learned to always speak to him in terms of the immediate present, and to never refer to their past time together.

Re:Interesting case (4, Interesting)

TACD (514008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017629)

You're thinking of Clive Wearing [wikipedia.org] - pretty much the most severe case of amnesia ever recorded. His wife has written a book [amazon.com] about her experiences in dealing with it. It's really quite an interesting insight into the way memory functions; for example, he will still hoot with glee whenever his wife enters the room, believing he has not seen her in years. However, even though his illness happened over 30 years ago and his wife has of course visibly aged, he's not surprised by her current appearance.

Re:Interesting case (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020455)

...and his wife has of course visibly aged, he's not surprised by her current appearance.

Well of course not, he hasn't seen her in years!

Re:Interesting case (1)

TACD (514008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26022141)

Another time, the staff at the hospital had baked him a cake for his birthday. Well, before his wife or anybody else arrived the nurse in charge of the cake had to leave the room for a short while to deal with an emergency.

When she got back, the cake was already half-gone. Clive, seeing the cake, assumed it was for him, and so ate a slice - then, seeing the cake, assumed it was for him, and so ate a slice - then, seeing the cake...

Also, the fits and jerks mentioned in the wikipedia article don't happen so much anymore. Early on his condition caused him great confusion, upset and stress, but nowadays (although of course he still has no declarative memory whatsoever) his emotional state is much more stable, and he fits far more rarely.

Re:Interesting case (1)

thetorpedodog (750359) | more than 5 years ago | (#26021363)

There's also an episode of NPR's RadioLab on memory [wnyc.org] , with a segment on Clive [wnyc.org] . (Audio file [wnyc.org] .)

I highly recommend listening to it (and other episodes of RadioLab), it's a great show.

Re:Interesting case (1)

TACD (514008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26022159)

There's also an episode of NPR's RadioLab on memory [wnyc.org] , with a segment on Clive [wnyc.org] . (Audio file [wnyc.org] .)

I highly recommend listening to it (and other episodes of RadioLab), it's a great show.

Already heard it ;) But yes, RadioLab is an excellent podcast. Along with AstronomyCast, one of a very few I listen to regularly.

Re:Interesting case (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017871)

There was this one guy a few years ago who, whenever he bumped his head (not a big bump, either), he'd forget what he was doing.

He sat in a van for 2 days in the middle of winter, engine idling, trying to figure out what to do next. The Montreal police finally found him and called his wife.

Memory is a strange beast at times.

Invidia Cards Are Not As Good (0, Troll)

slas6654 (996022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017557)

Invida cards tend to flutter at high refresh. What? Yes, I RTFA. Oh, never mind.

I believe this was part of the inspiration (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017561)

for the movie "Memento".

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017713)

...and 50 First Dates.

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017771)

...and Jaws

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (4, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017863)

Just when you thought it was safe to form new memories...

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26019239)

Imagine if every time you saw Goatse was the first time you saw Goatse

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26022381)

You mean imagine if you could actually get goatse out of your head after you saw it. I know, impossible, even for people like the people above, but just imagine how much better adjusted you'd be if you could. I think I may make a role playing game about people with that power. I'm not sure what I'd call it though. Maybe "Amnesiac -- The Forgetting" or Memories & Memories (M for short).

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018491)

Funny that there are so many movies called Memento. All the producers save for the first one seem to have forgotten that someone else has already made that movie!

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018665)

Actually, this has been around a lot longer. In the "Histories", by Herodotus, he describes a soldier struck with a blow to the head that is unable to form new memories.

Re:I believe this was part of the inspiration (1)

Plunky (929104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019123)

also it sounds as if Gene Wolfe took inspiration from this story when he wrote 'Soldier in the Mist' which is a totally excellent read (the sequel was pretty good too)

Offered his brain for further scientific study (4, Interesting)

haus (129916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017575)

I am sure that this man's misfortune has provided the rest of us a great opportunity to benefit form the research that has been performed on him to date, and possible further gains with his brian now (or soon to be) directly accessible to scientific research.

But I do wonder how a man who was unable to create new memories (or at least had great difficulty in this area) would be able to take in what is going on around him and give informed consent to offer his brain for further study after his passing.

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (2, Informative)

Lurker2288 (995635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017633)

I'm not familiar with the details of this case, but most likely he was declared unable to manage his own affairs due to his mental status, in which case a caregiver (usually a family member) would be assigned to make decisions for him. It may not be ideal, but it's probably the best way we have of dealing with informed consent in cases of patients who are unable to give fully informed consent.

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (4, Interesting)

haus (129916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017673)

This may well be, but the NPR piece on this seem to make a big point about HM himself wanting his brain to be available for further research.

In my mind this would seem to imply that he had an understanding that he was an unusual case. The story seemed to imply that with great effort he was able to remember items beyond the 30 seconds of short term memory, but given the complexities of this case I wonder how much he himself understood of it as his life drew to a close.

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (4, Informative)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018931)

Yes, H.M. was aware of his condition, which is typical of temporal lobe amnesia. (Patients who also have damage to the frontal lobes as in Korsakoff's syndrome [wikipedia.org] are often unaware of their memory deficit, a form of anosognosia [wikipedia.org] .)

One of the quotes from H.M. I always read in my neuroscience classes:

"Right now I'm wondering, have I done or said anything amiss? You see, at this moment everything looks clear to me, but what happened just before? That's what worries me. It's like waking from a dream; I just don't remember.... Every day is alone in itself, whatever enjoyment I've had, whatever sorrow."

RIP, Henry.

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020481)

Well, go over the whole thing with him and get his consent. Have him sign a paper.

Leave the room, get a new clipboard, repeat. 10/10 times and I'd say you have consent.

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (2, Interesting)

Clanked (1156473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017697)

In the article it stated that all the while he had a sense that he was helping something important. His sub conscious was still in tact, and was probably what made him so interesting. He could be taught to do things, without knowing it.
So sub consciously he knew he was helping. So when asked to consent to giving his brain up, it was probably that sub conscious that gave him the feeling to say "Yes, I'll do that."

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (2, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017699)

You only have to get his signature on some paper ONCE ;)

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (2, Informative)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017783)

If he is unable or unfit to give consent, then his legal guardian would have been. How else do you think that research on children, or with people with Autism is able to get conducted?

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018057)

Though the 'legal guardian theory' certainly still holds, if that isn't how they did it, this paragraph makes me wonder:

"Researchers say Molaison happily complied with the demands of science over the years. He was utterly imperturbable, Amaral said, perhaps because of the loss of his amygdala, which regulates emotion." Source http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20081206-9999-1n6brain.html [signonsandiego.com]

Was he just willing to go along and sign all the treatment/organ donation papers as a result of the brain surgery? Sounds almost as if he would have gone along with anything at that point. By all accounts I've read so far, he was a wonderful man. But is that because they pithed him? And if so, can we please use this technique on more people?

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018079)

I am sure that the Institutional Review Board (IRB) was active in protecting H.M. If the IRB rejected my research protocol last month because I used bold font on our recruitment posters to highlight the amount we compensate for participation...Welllll, I am sure that H.M. was well protected from immoral fonts anyway.

Re:Offered his brain for further scientific study (1)

dr_canak (593415) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019235)

Generally speaking,

consent to treatment isn't predicated on memory per se. Here is the link to a PDF file written by one the noted experts on competence to consent to treatment:

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/357/18/1834.pdf [nejm.org]

The Grisso and Applebaum book "Assessing Competence to Consent for Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and Other Health Care Providers" is the defacto book for health care providers to understand and assess competence as it relates to medical decision making.

hth,
jeff

The problem of free will (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020525)

how a man who was unable to create new memories (or at least had great difficulty in this area) would be able to take in what is going on around him and give informed consent to offer his brain for further study after his passing.

Given the severity of his case, he certainly had some sort of legal guardian who could give consent by proxy.

What truly worries me are the intermediate cases. Where is the exact point at which you can be assumed to have free will or not? Mental impairment is relative and depends on a multitude of factors, both internal, such as disease, and external, such as alcohol and drugs. That's why casinos in Vegas give you free drinks. Of course, drinking is optional, but we know so little about the workings of the brain.

I have always thought that free will is overestimated. Who knows to which extent other factors influence our decisions? When one thinks about "free will", it's usually in the form of a "soul", that is an indivisible entity, which analyzes the relevant facts and emits a decision. But we know that the threshold for making a decision depends on the ethanol content in the brain, that fact is even accepted by the law. In most legislatures it is illegal for someone to perform some tasks under the influence of alcohol.

So what about the many other physical and chemical signaling mechanisms in the brain? How can we know if our ability to make a decision has been impaired by an infection or trauma that affected our free will? The human brain is the most complex system in the known universe, the unitary soul is a philosophical assumption unsupported by facts, scientists should make an effort to get closer to the true nature of free will.

thanks for the memories (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017579)

So when we see this article duped next week, now we'll know why?

Re:thanks for the memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017625)

So when we see this article duped next week, now we'll know why?

More to the point the ones with this form of amnesia won't realize it's a dupe. I think there's several people working with Slashdot that have this condition.

Re:thanks for the memories (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017795)

not duped, but Octuped. Dectuped. kilotuped. With Anterograde Amnesia, it wouldn't matter.

Re:thanks for the memories (4, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018199)

Where were you last week? This is the dupe.

Re:thanks for the memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018947)

Where were you last week? This is the dupe.

So when we see this article duped next week, now we'll know why?

Authored???? (2, Funny)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017619)

Verbing weirds language :-(

Re:Authored???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017651)

It's always been a verb as well, but maybe you forgot..

Re:Authored???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017655)

Erm, yeah. "To author [answers.com] " is a standard verb, and it has been for a very long time. That said, "to read" is also a standard verb, and you should probably try more of it!

Re:Authored???? (4, Informative)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017663)

Author has been a verb (and a noun) since at least 1596 (oed) [oed.com] .

Re:Authored???? (1)

duncan bayne (544299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017737)

It may have been, but it 'had been out of use for a long period, [and] has been rejuvenated in recent years' [thefreedictionary.com] and with a subtly different meaning, too.

So I still claim that, in modern use at least, it's an example of verbing.

Re:Authored???? (4, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017909)

Give it up, I'm 50 and have known about it since high school.

Re:Authored???? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018901)

This post is by chance on topic:
I've noticed that (at least in my generation, I'm 19 (*)) people don't think the generation before them knew many of the stuff they knew. Like swear words, expressions, jokes and other similar things. Maybe a generation is like a new day in the life of a species and that species doesn't remember the previous 'day' properly. You don't remember everything you did yesterday and feel weird when something similar happens again.

(*) notice how I have the same problem, did people in your generation think that their parents/grandparents had never thought about some kind of joke or expression?

Re:Authored???? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019541)

"did people in your generation think that their parents/grandparents had never thought about some kind of joke or expression?"

Most parents acted so prudish we really belived they only had sex to procreate. My HS was co-ed but sexually segregated, seperate play areas, seperate rows in clas, etc. Being an Aussie slang is a national hobby, it's not that hard to work out new slang when your own kids come out with it.

BTW: Your species idea is a good one, Richard Dawkins compares what he calls memes [wikipedia.org] in a population to a lifeform that evoles over time.

Re:Authored???? (1)

Zorque (894011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017921)

You've really never heard the word "authored" before? It's not that uncommon.

Re:Authored???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018261)

Maybe he heard the word "authored" before, but forgot...

Re:Authored???? (4, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018129)

It's been a valid use of the word for 400 years.

"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow
words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
--James D. Nicoll

Re:Authored???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26019317)

Yes, "authored". It's a perfectly cromulent word! Have you forgotten?

Hmm... (3, Funny)

Konster (252488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017643)

Looking down from Heaven, Gustav Molaison was surprised to learn people remembered him.

an eternity on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018233)

I would have thought that heaven would be more entertaining than scrolling through stories on Slashdot.

first post (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017645)

first post

first post (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26017689)

first post

Wait, did I already do that?

H.M. Is the Father of my Field (4, Informative)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26017767)

Seriously. As far as the summary: Decalarative vs Implicit memory systems. Yes. But also: Semantic vs. Episodic Memory Systems.

The most important contribution of H.M. is helping pin down the fact that for Episodic memory, the Medial Temporal Lobe is critical. From there a whole lot of work has been done pinning down the sub regions of the Medial Temporal Lobe with memory function:

The hippocampus: CA1 CA3 and dentate gyrus, is important for associating memory traces with contexts. The surrounding cortices important for making global assessments of the familiarity of a memory trace. Look up Professor Andrew Yonelinas at his UC Davis website for some current reviews of Recollection and Familiarity processes.

Re:H.M. Is the Father of my Field (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018045)

When I see slashdot stories like this, I'm always hopeful that someone will post links to relevant and insightful research information that I might use to glean more insight into how intelligence works. I do realize that this last sentence might not have been overly intelligent, but I do have a notion that the human brain (in fact all mammalian brains) function as several highly integrated processors might. I've tried finding discussions and research along these lines, but it would seem non-existent or not accessible to me.

When we think of the memory functions learned through H.M. and others, it seems like we are seeing the function of wetware applications and how they interact as well as what part of the brain provides processing for them... if you can think of the brain that way.

If anyone is interested, I also have a notion that much of the interlinking of processes can be represented as a large (read complex) cascade of FSM whose states are processed out of band of actual data. That is to say that the complex state of external processes drives or guides data processing in any given process inside the brain.

I probably sound like I'm talking out of an orifice, but thanks for the look up reference.

For others: Here is a search at UCDavis for Yonelinas [ucdavis.edu]

Re:H.M. Is the Father of my Field (1)

buswolley (591500) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018111)

I don't know what you meant by FSM, so I:

FSM Google Search [google.com]

Not the first results surely?

Explain.

Re:H.M. Is the Father of my Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018183)

The brain is exactly like a complex cascade of flying spaghetti monsters.

Re:H.M. Is the Father of my Field (2, Informative)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018525)

mea culpa - Yes, I did mean finite state machine. Though a complex cascade of flying spaghetti monsters has a certain ring to it.

Re:H.M. Is the Father of my Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018205)

can be represented as a large (read complex) cascade of FSM whose

That was a well (read poorly) written sentence.

Parenthesis in text should rarely (read never) be used.

Re:H.M. Is the Father of my Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018345)

Ok,

Maybe not the most inspirational, but perhaps this "HM" was the inspiration for H.M. Murdock (aka "Howling Mad") from the A-Team.

Proof of Golbach's Conjecture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018189)

Oh hey. A cool comment box.

I can be an amnesiac that's studied (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26018263)

They have to supply the weed.

One of the best ways to explore motor control (2, Interesting)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26018601)

One of the best ways to explore motor control retention is to practice drumming. It is uncanny (and fascinating) how you can conquer a pattern requiring new and unfamiliar coordination with some proficiency, sleep, and the next day be much more capable (to the point of it often being trivial) of reproducing it. I think if more people understood just how easily the mind can be developed, we'd have a whole lot more proactive people in society. Stuff like this would be great for teaching kids confidence in their own abilities.

Re:One of the best ways to explore motor control (1)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019841)

This is interesting. I will commonly try to think about tough programming problems just before going to sleep, and generally find that in the morning the solution is apparent. I've also used to notice I did better when studying at night, knowing information I was shaky on well in the morning. I had no idea it also worked with motor skills.

Re:One of the best ways to explore motor control (1)

drsmack1 (698392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26020741)

I have a defect in this area - the more I do something the worse I get. I am unable to memorize rote motions.
 
Although nominally athletic, I have only been able to have an somewhat repeatable motion in athletics (golf, shooting a basketball) by letting my arms follow the path that my stiff joints want to go.
 
Light practice is helpful for my basketball shot, but my best golf days were always after months of not playing.
 
As an 17 year old employee of a grocery store, I was unable to comprehend how to wrap lettuce.
 
I suspect that this sort of disfunction would ot be noticed in soccer or hockey - since it is more of a freestyle way of moving.

Thanks for the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26019381)

Seems to me Science could be dedicating itself to more practical applications, like why some young women are unable to form new mammaries.

Re:Thanks for the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26019909)

Why do you think young women need more mammaries than the two they already have?

Re:Thanks for the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26020301)

Seems to me Science could be dedicating itself to more practical applications, like why some young women are unable to form new mammaries.

Why do you think young women need more mammaries than the two they already have?

Maybe he's fixated on that girl in Total Recall?

This is obvious if you have experienced it (3, Interesting)

ile.vm (1424509) | more than 5 years ago | (#26019961)

A very good friend of mine hit her head, and had amnesia for about 5 days. She didn't know anyone's name, for example, including her own. Her parents and boyfriend were strangers. We took her to the pool for morning workout (we were both on the swim team). She says that she swam to the opposite wall, and remembers thinking "I don't know what I'm supposed to do when I get to the wall. How do I turn around?" Her body promptly went through a typical perfectly executed flip turn, and as she pulled away, she thought to herself "Oh, I guess that must be what you do."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...