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Henry Molaison

After brain surgery, Henry Molaison faced cognitive decline and memory impairment in his life. Some of the past events were lost and future was never experienced. He was showing the permanent present tense in his regular life.

Posts on the brainpage theory of knowledge transfer

Henry Molaison (HM) was famous in neuroscience for the study of knowledge he provided about memory impairment and amnesia. He was not a neuroscientist but a patient who contributed in the study of learning mechanism and memory formation. It was thought that his exact brain surgery allowed a good understanding of how particular areas of brain may be linked to learning process and memory formation. The process of managing memory in brain mechanism was hypothesized previously but it was not verified by the findings of Molaison’s memory loss and learning disabilities. In this way, his case was taken to provide information about brain pathology and helped to form the theories of normal memory function.

After the death of Henry Molaison, his brain was fixed and preserved for further study. On December 4, 2009, Annese’s group acquired 2401 brain slices with only two damaged slices and 16 potentially problematic slices. The digital 3D reconstruction of his brain was finished at the beginning of 2014. It opened the new frontier of neuroscience which could help in finding the facts of learning mechanism and the memory formation of human brain. Results of the pathological study were published in Nature Communications for January 2014. It was a great surprise, the researchers found that the half of Molaison’s hippocampus had survived the 1953 brain surgery.

The remaining part of hippocampus had deep implications on past and future interpretations of Molaison’s neuro-behavioral profile. The previous literature of findings was not true which described Henry Molaison as a pure hippocampus lesion patient. Molaison’s brain was the subject of an unprecedented anatomical study funded by the Dana Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The project of Brain Observatory at UC San Diego headed by Jacopo Annese provided a complete microscopic survey of entire brain. It has revealed the neurological basis of Molaison’s historical memory impairment at cellular resolution.

Henry Molaison : Wikipedia

Henry Molaison’s memory loss and learning disabilities

Henry Gustav Molaison (February 26, 1926 – December 2, 2008) was widely known as HM in the study of behavioral neuroscience. He was an American memory disorder patient who had a bilateral medial temporal lobectomy. The anterior two thirds of his hippocampus, parahippocampal cortices, entorhinal cortices, piriform cortices and amygdalae were surgically resected in an attempt to cure the seizures of his epilepsy. He was widely studied from late 1957 until his death in 2008. His case played an important role in the development of theories that explain the link between brain function and memory formation. Cognitive neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of human brain relate to specific psychological processes. He resided in a care institute in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where he was the subject of ongoing investigation to develop the modern theories of cognitive science.

The imaging of Molaison’s brain in the late 1990s revealed that the extent of damage was more widespread than previous theories had accounted for anterograde and retrograde amnesia. It was making very hard to identify any one particular region or even isolated set of regions that were responsible for his deficits and inability. The study of Molaison’s living and working revolutionized understanding for the organization of human memory and working mechanism. It has provided broad evidence for the rejection of old theories and the formation of new theories on human memory and learning spectrum. The major insights of modern theory were outlined for learning mechanism and memory formation, in particular about its processes and underlying neural structures (Kolb & Whishaw 1996).

Cognitive neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of human brain relate to specific psychological processes. Henry Molaison resided in a care institute in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, where he was the subject of ongoing investigation to develop the modern theories of cognitive science. His apparent ability was observed to complete tasks that require the recall of information from short-term memory and procedural memory. But long-term episodic memory was not found to mediate the recall from these memory systems, at least in part by the different areas of brain. Similarly, his ability to recall long-term memories that existed well before his surgery was intact. But new long-term memory was not possible. Molaison’s inability suggests that encoding and retrieval of long-term memory information may also be mediated by the distinct systems of amygdala, entorhinal cortex and hippocampus.

Study of Molaison’s living and working revolutionized understanding for the organization of human memory and working mechanism. It has provided broad evidence for the rejection of old theories and the formation of new theories on human memory and learning spectrum. The major insights of modern theory were outlined for learning mechanism and memory formation, in particular about its processes and underlying neural structures (Kolb & Whishaw 1996). These findings suggest revisiting raw data from behavioral testing. A discrete lesion was discovered in the pre-frontal cortex that was never suspected. The 3D virtual model of the brain allowed the dynamics of the surgery to be reconstructed, and found that the brain damage above the left orbit could have been created by Dr. Scoville when he lifted the frontal lobe to reach into the medial temporal lobes.

It has been discovered that the hippocampus and amygdala of brain play a significant role in cognitive improvement and memory formation. The researchers of neurobiology observed the living, thinking and learning of Molaison’s brain to develop the new theories of behavioral neuroscience. The study of brain parts described the general neuro-pathological state of brain via multiple imaging modalities. Molaison was living in the care center and he died when he was 82 years old. His brain had aged considerably and showed several pathological features which were severe to his cognitive decline.

Henry Molaison : Wikipedia

Henry Molaison contributed in the formation of new theories on human memory and learning spectrum

After the death of Henry Molaison, his brain was fixed and preserved for further study. On December 4, 2009, Annese’s group acquired 2401 brain slices with only two damaged slices and 16 potentially problematic slices. The digital 3D reconstruction of his brain was finished at the beginning of 2014. It opened the new frontier of neuroscience which could help in finding the facts of learning mechanism and the memory formation of brain. The results of the pathological study were published in Nature Communications for January 2014. It was a great surprise, the researchers found that the half of Molaison’s hippocampus had survived the 1953 brain surgery. The remaining part of hippocampus had deep implications on past and future interpretations of Molaison’s neurobehavioral profile. The previous literature of findings was not true which described Henry Molaison as a pure hippocampus lesion patient.

Driving force of human life comes from the fear and reward systems of amygdala whereas hippocampus acts as a search engine for the working mechanism of brain. In fact, zeid markers are produced by anterior cingulate cortex and projected to the amygdala system of brain to identify the pattern of informative objects for long term potentiation. This is the part of limbic system, an evolutionarily highly conserved area that was well developed in animals before man, and is part of an active vigilance for survival mechanism. There are three phases of brain learnography – working, learning and building. So school learnography has also three phases like working phase, learning phase and building phase to make complete brainpage of knowledge chapter.

Working is the practice of chapter tasks and learning is the brainpage making process of knowledge chapter. While building is the formation of design and objects to describe the structure and function of subject matter. The sensory input system of cerebral cortex is the processor of stimulus and information. Prefrontal cortex is the moderator of facts, ideas and thoughts. But amygdala system of brain is the modulator of working, learning and building. It is connected with prefrontal cortex, an area involved with our highest intellectual properties, receive sensory inputs from it all the time. Deep learning is acquired from the hippocampal phase of brain. It extracts knowledge from the temporal region of brain and amygdala takes part in the processing of modular learning.

It is obvious that the school system of modern education is based on the teaching theories of cognitive science and its center is the prefrontal cortex of brain. Learnography is the school of knowledge transfer which deals with the science of learning mechanism based on the neurological studies of amygdala and hippocampus. It’s true that the amygdala system of student’s brain is hijacked in the highly motivated classroom of cognitive teaching and students often become Henry Molaison in the learning transfer of school system. The contribution of Molaison’s living gave knowledge and evidence to show the significance of amygdala and hippocampus in learning activities, memory recall and brainpage processing. After brain surgery, Henry Molaison faced cognitive decline and memory impairment in his life. Some of the past events were lost and future was never experienced. He was showing the permanent present tense in his regular life.


Shiva Narayan
Principal
Golden Star Secondary School
Rajbiraj, Nepal

Brainpage School

Happiness Classroom ! Book is the transfer source of knowledge and student’s brain is the transfer target of learning. To be high performing students, make brainpage in collaborative classroom by applying the seven dimensions of knowledge transfer. The motor science of knowledge transfer should be launched in the classroom for the learning development and brainpage modules of Autistic or ADHD students. Let the students use motor knowledge to make smart brainpage in the classroom from book to brain direct learning transfer. The cyclozeid of knowledge transfer is rehearsed in the classroom to produce high speed zeidstream in the working mechanism of brain circuits.