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  • Published: 27 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9780141931562
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

Permanent Present Tense

The Man With No Memory, And What He Taught The World




A renowned neuroscientist recounts the story of her relationship with the brain-damaged patient whose case afforded untold advances in the study of memory

Permanent Present tells the incredible story of Henry Gustav Molaison, known only as H.M. until his death in 2008. In 1953, at the age of twenty-seven, Molaison underwent a dangerous "psychosurgical" procedure intended to alleviate his debilitating epilepsy. The surgery went horribly wrong, and when Molaison awoke he was unable to store or retrieve new experiences. For the rest of his life, he would be trapped in the moment. But Molaison's tragedy would prove a gift to humanity. The amazing specificity of his impairment shed new light on the functions and structures of the human brain, revolutionizing neuroscience. Today, the case of H.M. stands as one of the most consequential and widely referenced in this fast-expanding field.

Renowned neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin worked with Molaison for nearly five decades. In Permanent Present, shetells the full story of his life and legacy, leading her reader to the cutting edge of neuroscience with great clarity, sensitivity, and grace.

  • Published: 27 February 2013
  • ISBN: 9780141931562
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

Praise for Permanent Present Tense

A fascinating account of perhaps the most important case study in the history of neuroscience, rich with implications for our understanding of the brain, our experience, and what it means to be human

Steven Pinker, author of 'How the Mind Works' and 'The Stuff of Thought'

The best way to understand memory is to witness the ways it can disassemble. In this remarkable book, Suzanne Corkin gifts us with a rare insider's view, revealing how a man who could not remember his immediate past so profoundly influenced science's future

David Eagleman, neuroscientist and New York Times-bestselling author of 'Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain'

Suzanne Corkin has written an enjoyable and sensitive story of H.M.'s life and what it has taught us about memory. Millions of patients have been the source of advances in science but few are celebrated as individuals. We learn through H.M. that 'Our brains are like hotels with eclectic arrays of guests-homes to different kinds of memory, each of which occupies its own suite of rooms

Philip A. Sharp, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Drawing on her unique investigations over more than four decades, neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin relates the fascinating story of how one severely amnesic man transformed our understanding of mind, brain, and memory

Howard Gardner, author of 'Multiple Intelligences'

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