Patient H M

Author: Luke Dittrich
Editor: Random House
ISBN: 067964380X
Size: 13,45 MB
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“Oliver Sacks meets Stephen King”* in this propulsive, haunting journey into the life of the most studied human research subject of all time, the amnesic known as Patient H.M. For readers of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks comes a story that has much to teach us about our relentless pursuit of knowledge. Winner of the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • New York Post • NPR • The Economist • New York • Wired • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today. Patient H.M. is, at times, a deeply personal journey. Dittrich’s grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison—and thousands of other patients. The author’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history, and to reveal the tragedy that fueled his grandfather’s relentless experimentation—experimentation that would revolutionize our understanding of ourselves. Dittrich uses the case of Patient H.M. as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, one that moves from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT. He takes readers inside the old asylums and operating theaters where psychosurgeons, as they called themselves, conducted their human experiments, and behind the scenes of a bitter custody battle over the ownership of the most important brain in the world. Patient H.M. combines the best of biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting, endlessly fascinating story, one that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide. Praise for Patient H.M. “An exciting, artful blend of family and medical history.”—The New York Times “In prose both elegant and intimate, and often thrilling, Patient H.M. is an important book about the wages not of sin but of science.”—The Washington Post “Spellbinding . . . The fact that Dittrich looks critically at the actual process of scientific investigation is just one of the things to admire about Patient H.M.”—The New York Times Book Review “Patient H.M. tells one of the most fascinating and disturbing stories in the annals of medicine, weaving in ethics, philosophy, a personal saga, the history of neurosurgery, the mysteries of human memory, and an exploration of human ego.”—Sheri Fink, M.D., Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Five Days at Memorial “This is classic reporting and myth-making at the same time.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin *Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Patient H M

Author: Luke Dittrich
Editor: Vintage
ISBN: 9780099571865
Size: 17,49 MB
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In the summer of 1953 maverick neurosurgeon William Beecher Scoville performed a groundbreaking operation on a twenty-seven-year-old epileptic patient named Henry Molaison. The operation failed to eliminate Molaison's intractable seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long term memories.The story of Patient H.M., as he came to be known, is the story of how we came to understand memory, and better understand ourselves. Scoville's grandson, award-winning journalist Luke Dittrich, takes us on a journey through the history of neuroscience, from the first brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the fraught debate between surgeons over lobotomy operations on the twentieth century; from the gleaming laboratory analysing Molaison's disembodied brain, to the archives of the decrepit New-England asylum where his grandfather first developed a taste for human experimentation. Dittrich's compelling, kaleidoscopic investigation confronts unsettling secrets in his own family history, and reveals how the bright future of modern neuroscience has dark roots in the forgotten history of psychosurgery, raising ethical questions that echo into the present day.

Patient H M

Author: Luke Dittrich
Editor: Random House
ISBN: 1448104688
Size: 10,69 MB
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In the summer of 1953 maverick neurosurgeon William Beecher Scoville performed a groundbreaking operation on a twenty-seven-year-old epileptic patient named Henry Molaison. The operation failed to eliminate Molaison’s intractable seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long term memories.The story of Patient H.M., as he came to be known, is the story of how we came to understand memory, and better understand ourselves. Scoville’s grandson, award-winning journalist Luke Dittrich, takes us on a journey through the history of neuroscience, from the first brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the fraught debate between surgeons over lobotomy operations on the twentieth century; from the gleaming laboratory analysing Molaison’s disembodied brain, to the archives of the decrepit New-England asylum where his grandfather first developed a taste for human experimentation. Dittrich’s compelling, kaleidoscopic investigation confronts unsettling secrets in his own family history, and reveals how the bright future of modern neuroscience has dark roots in the forgotten history of psychosurgery, raising ethical questions that echo into the present day.

Permanent Present Tense

Author: Suzanne Corkin
Editor: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465033490
Size: 13,16 MB
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In 1953, 27-year-old Henry Gustave Molaison underwent an experimental “psychosurgical” procedure—a targeted lobotomy—in an effort to alleviate his debilitating epilepsy. The outcome was unexpected—when Henry awoke, he could no longer form new memories, and for the rest of his life would be trapped in the moment. But Henry’s tragedy would prove a gift to humanity. As renowned neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin explains in Permanent Present Tense, she and her colleagues brought to light the sharp contrast between Henry’s crippling memory impairment and his preserved intellect. This new insight that the capacity for remembering is housed in a specific brain area revolutionized the science of memory. The case of Henry—known only by his initials H. M. until his death in 2008—stands as one of the most consequential and widely referenced in the spiraling field of neuroscience. Corkin and her collaborators worked closely with Henry for nearly fifty years, and in Permanent Present Tense she tells the incredible story of the life and legacy of this intelligent, quiet, and remarkably good-humored man. Henry never remembered Corkin from one meeting to the next and had only a dim conception of the importance of the work they were doing together, yet he was consistently happy to see her and always willing to participate in her research. His case afforded untold advances in the study of memory, including the discovery that even profound amnesia spares some kinds of learning, and that different memory processes are localized to separate circuits in the human brain. Henry taught us that learning can occur without conscious awareness, that short-term and long-term memory are distinct capacities, and that the effects of aging-related disease are detectable in an already damaged brain. Undergirded by rich details about the functions of the human brain, Permanent Present Tense pulls back the curtain on the man whose misfortune propelled a half-century of exciting research. With great clarity, sensitivity, and grace, Corkin brings readers to the cutting edge of neuroscience in this deeply felt elegy for her patient and friend.

Permanent Present Tense

Author: Suzanne Corkin
Editor:
ISBN: 9780141044316
Size: 16,10 MB
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When he was twenty-seven, Henry Molaison underwent surgery for his epilepsy. He awoke with part of his brain destroyed, and for the rest of his life would be trapped in the moment, unable to remember anything for more than a few seconds. For nearly five decades, distinguished neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin studied Molaison and oversaw his care. In Permanent Present Tense she tells his extraordinary story, showing how his amnesia revolutionized our understanding of the brain, and also challenged our very notions of who we are. 'The poignant story of a man who became one of history's most studied patients.' John Carey, Sunday Times 'Remarkable . . . a great book.' Carl Zimmer, Wall Street Journal 'Both a case study and a fond memoir . . . compelling.' Tim Adams, Observer 'In this fine and moving book, Corkin pays tribute to a much-missed friend, as well as offering lucid accounts of the neuropsychological discoveries he made possible.' Jonathan Rée, Guardian 'A hugely important book.' Charles Fernyhough, Literary Review

Memory S Ghost

Author: Philip J. Hilts
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 068482356X
Size: 14,63 MB
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Recounts the case of a man whose memory was destroyed by an operation for epilepsy, and describes what it reveals about the construction of memories, forgetfulness, mnemonic devices, and the validity of recovered memories

We Are Our Brains

Author: D. F. Swaab
Editor: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 0679644377
Size: 16,62 MB
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A vivid account of what makes us human. Based groundbreaking new research, We Are Our Brains is a sweeping biography of the human brain, from infancy to adulthood to old age. Renowned neuroscientist D. F. Swaab takes us on a guided tour of the intricate inner workings that determine our potential, our limitations, and our desires, with each chapter serving as an eye-opening window on a different stage of brain development: the gender differences that develop in the embryonic brain, what goes on in the heads of adolescents, how parenthood permanently changes the brain. Moving beyond pure biological understanding, Swaab presents a controversial and multilayered ethical argument surrounding the brain. Far from possessing true free will, Swaab argues, we have very little control over our everyday decisions, or who we will become, because our brains predetermine everything about us, long before we are born, from our moral character to our religious leanings to whom we fall in love with. And he challenges many of our prevailing assumptions about what makes us human, decoding the intricate “moral networks” that allow us to experience emotion, revealing maternal instinct to be the result of hormonal changes in the pregnant brain, and exploring the way that religious “imprinting” shapes the brain during childhood. Rife with memorable case studies, We Are Our Brains is already a bestselling international phenomenon. It aims to demystify the chemical and genetic workings of our most mysterious organ, in the process helping us to see who we are through an entirely new lens. Did you know? • The father’s brain is affected in pregnancy as well as the mother’s. • The withdrawal symptoms we experience at the end of a love affair mirror chemical addiction. • Growing up bilingual reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer’s. • Parental religion is imprinted on our brains during early development, much as our native language is. Praise for We Are Our Brains “Swaab’s ‘neurobiography’ is witty, opinionated, passionate, and, above all, cerebral.”—Booklist (starred review) “A fascinating survey . . . Swaab employs both personal and scientific observation in near-equal measure.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A cogent, provocative account of how twenty-first-century ‘neuroculture’ has the potential to effect profound medical and social change.”—Kirkus Reviews From the Hardcover edition.

I Forgot To Remember

Author: Su Meck
Editor: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451685831
Size: 17,21 MB
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The courageous memoir of a woman who was robbed of all her memories by a traumatic brain injury—and her more than twenty-five-year struggle to reclaim her life: “[A tale] of triumph in the search for identity” (The New York Times Book Review). In 1988, Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan fell and struck her on the head, erasing all her memories of her life. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned. After just three weeks in the hospital, her physicians released Su and she returned home to take care of her two toddlers. What would you do if you lost your past? Adrift in a world about which she understood almost nothing, Su became an adept mimic, gradually creating routines and rituals that sheltered her and her family from the near-daily threat of disaster—or so she thought. Though Su would eventually relearn to tie her shoes, cook a meal, read, and write, nearly twenty years would pass before a series of personally devastating events shattered the “normal” life she had worked so hard to build, and she realized that she would have to grow up all over again. In her own indelible voice, Su offers a unique view from the inside of a terrible injury as she “recounts her grueling climb back to normalcy…in this heart-wrenching true story” (O, The Oprah Magazine). Piercing, heartbreaking, but finally uplifting, I Forgot to Remember is the story of a woman determined to live life on her own terms.

The Family That Couldn T Sleep

Author: D. T. Max
Editor: Random House
ISBN: 1588365581
Size: 19,23 MB
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For two hundred years a noble Venetian family has suffered from an inherited disease that strikes their members in middle age, stealing their sleep, eating holes in their brains, and ending their lives in a matter of months. In Papua New Guinea, a primitive tribe is nearly obliterated by a sickness whose chief symptom is uncontrollable laughter. Across Europe, millions of sheep rub their fleeces raw before collapsing. In England, cows attack their owners in the milking parlors, while in the American West, thousands of deer starve to death in fields full of grass. What these strange conditions–including fatal familial insomnia, kuru, scrapie, and mad cow disease–share is their cause: prions. Prions are ordinary proteins that sometimes go wrong, resulting in neurological illnesses that are always fatal. Even more mysterious and frightening, prions are almost impossible to destroy because they are not alive and have no DNA–and the diseases they bring are now spreading around the world. In The Family That Couldn’t Sleep, essayist and journalist D. T. Max tells the spellbinding story of the prion’s hidden past and deadly future. Through exclusive interviews and original archival research, Max explains this story’s connection to human greed and ambition–from the Prussian chemist Justus von Liebig, who made cattle meatier by feeding them the flesh of other cows, to New Guinean natives whose custom of eating the brains of the dead nearly wiped them out. The biologists who have investigated these afflictions are just as extraordinary–for example, Daniel Carleton Gajdusek, a self-described “pedagogic pedophiliac pediatrician” who cracked kuru and won the Nobel Prize, and another Nobel winner, Stanley Prusiner, a driven, feared self-promoter who identified the key protein that revolutionized prion study. With remarkable precision, grace, and sympathy, Max–who himself suffers from an inherited neurological illness–explores maladies that have tormented humanity for centuries and gives reason to hope that someday cures will be found. And he eloquently demonstrates that in our relationship to nature and these ailments, we have been our own worst enemy.

A History Of The Brain

Author: Andrew P. Wickens
Editor: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317744837
Size: 12,51 MB
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A History of the Brain tells the full story of neuroscience, from antiquity to the present day. It describes how we have come to understand the biological nature of the brain, beginning in prehistoric times, and progressing to the twentieth century with the development of Modern Neuroscience. This is the first time a history of the brain has been written in a narrative way, emphasizing how our understanding of the brain and nervous system has developed over time, with the development of the disciplines of anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, psychology and neurosurgery. The book covers: beliefs about the brain in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome the Medieval period, Renaissance and Enlightenment the nineteenth century the most important advances in the twentieth century and future directions in neuroscience. The discoveries leading to the development of modern neuroscience gave rise to one of the most exciting and fascinating stories in the whole of science. Written for readers with no prior knowledge of the brain or history, the book will delight students, and will also be of great interest to researchers and lecturers with an interest in understanding how we have arrived at our present knowledge of the brain.