January 25, 2006 9:20 PM Subscribe
The strange story of Henry M. Henry was able to hold information in storage for very short periods of time. Most people can retain about seven pieces of information (a telephone number, for example) in memory for about thirty seconds, and Henry scored normally on these kinds of tasks. Thus, his working memory (or scratch-pad memory) seemed unaffected by the loss of his hippocampus. The main problem for Henry was converting short-term memories into permanent storage, a process called consolidation. Henry's case is one of the most studied brain-damage cases [PDF] ever. A fascinating story about one man's struggle with brain surgery.
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