Sunday, December 7, 2008

Memory Blog Post Assignment Due Tues. 12/16

R.I.P. H.M.

Read the article about the recent passing of Henry G. Molaison who for the past 40 years had only been known as "H.M." in the psychological literature. You will then create an original creative writing piece paying tribute to this tragic character.

Your post should be in the form of a short essay or other creative writing. So please DON'T copy the questions or number your answers, rather create a cogent short piece of writing which includes your thoughts on these points as well as any other you find important. You can write it as an essay or use forms other than prose to express yourself. You may write a poem or a song or even create a rap about H.M., but be sure to address all the required points.

You can do your writing in Word or another word-processing program and then copy and paste it into your blog if you don't have internet at home or if you want to bring a rough draft to the Owl's Nest writing center.

Here is your task:

Honor HM for allowing us to use his deficit to advance neuroscience. Thank him for the following:

1. Developing a new understanding of the role the hippocampus plays in memory formation.

2. Helping scientists understand the difference between explicit declarative memory and implicit procedural or "motor learning" memory


3. Make some personal connection to H.M. and his predicament. How do you think you would handle having his condition... do you think he even knew he had it?

Students will vote to select the best three pieces from our class which we will record and post as podcasts on the web.

Additional Info:
Listen to a story about H.M. from National Public Radio at the following link.

Our text discusses H.M. and shows a diagram of the mirror drawing implicit learning task on Pp. 328-329.

When you are done with your post E-MAIL ME to let me know to check your blog.

Good Writing!

1 comment:

Mr. Cantor said...

A series of Haiku in honor of HM

HM like Mandy
Life given without taking

To protect your name
We knew you as initials
Henry Molaison

Hippocampus gone
No new memories again
Studied forever

After the seizures
Anterograde amnesia
Breakfast today was?

Learning to do is
Procedural memory
Called “motor learning”

You taught us so much
Learned to draw stars in mirrors
But did not know it

New events happen
Explicit memory gone
No trace left in mind

If your brain was mine
No new memories ever
Would I know my loss?

Each day to be told
That my family has died
New grief every day

Thank God, I don’t ask
And no one tells me daily
My grief forgotten

Who and what are we?
Are we not our memories?
You proved we are more

With Gratitude,
Phillip Cantor