Memory: Lost in the here and now

时间:2019-03-01 07:10:11166网络整理admin

By Catherine de Lange Read more: “The ultimate guide to memory“ TO THE casual observer, there would have been nothing unusual about Henry Molaison as he tucked into dinner at his usual slow-and-steady pace. But to the group of psychologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who were observing him, his behaviour was astonishing: just 60 seconds earlier, he had polished off an identical three-course meal. Yet Molaison was no glutton. Instead, part of his brain had been removed in an attempt to cure his epilepsy. From then on, he was unable to form new memories and became stuck in the present for perpetuity. “Just 60 seconds earlier, Henry Molaison had polished off an identical three-course meal” Scientists usually consider feelings of hunger to arise from hormonal signals in the gut, but Molaison’s behaviour suggested that our memories of what we have just eaten may be more important in curbing our appetite. The idea found further support a decade later, in 1998, when Morris Moscovitch at the University of Toronto, Canada, replicated this experiment using two people with a similar memory condition. Not only did these people eat a second meal, just 15 minutes after finishing the first, but in some trials they unquestioningly ate a third. There is always the possibility that the brain damage may have brought on complications besides the memory loss that interfered with the gut’s signals to the brain,