HM - the man with no memory

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Uniqlo responds to changing trends in Japanese fashion and specifically caters its designs to mimic the minimalistic style that is popular in Japan.

This affects the appeal that Uniqlo may have for Western distribution channels , and may be the determining reason behind its low number of store locations in the U. Alternatively, Monki sells clothing pieces that are half the price of those sold by Collection of Style and features designs that are comparably youthful. Zara divides the products sold within its stores into lower garments and upper garments, with price points being higher for the upper garments. Zara hopes to be perceived as a high-end retailer with affordable prices.

Its flagship stores are strategically opened in key traffic points worldwide that have high real estate costs, such as its Fifth Avenue location in New York City. Zara does not stress advertising as a part of its branding strategy , differing from Uniqlo; the company instead funnels the dollars that would have gone toward advertising into new store openings. The adapted strategy from The Gap that Uniqlo employs is to position its brand as private-label apparel; the company creates its own clothing, and Uniqlo only sells it within the confines of its brick-and-mortar stores and on its website.

The company also uses sporting events to appeal to the general population. To transport its goods from factories to stores, retailer relies on rail and sea as a means to promote efficiency within its internal logistics. Zara is able to design, manufacture and sell its products in stores quickly because the company owns many of the vertical factors of production. Zara has a main manufacturing plant in the city of La Coruna, where the clothing retailer was founded.

Zara's approach to fashion differs from Uniqlo's in that it attempts to predict customer needs rather than follow current fashion trends. The turnover of products within the store is very high, with an average article of clothing remaining on the shelf for only a month.

Uniqlo manufactures its clothing within Japan. It began using cheap labor in China when Japan experienced a recession in the s. The company has contracts with 70 manufacturers to produce goods. Of course he never really knew who I was. But in the beginning of the s he'd say that he knew me from high school. So why did he think that? Well, over the years he had built up a sense of familiarity for my face and for my name.

So he heard 'Suzanne Corkin' over and over and over again at the Clinical Research Centre, and also at his nursing home, and he saw my face on many occasions. As a result of this constant repetition he believed that he knew me. Now, why would he say he knew me from high school? Well, if you think about it, that was the last large group of people that he belonged to. After that his life was very isolated. So if he wanted to locate me within a group of people, that was the most available one for him to situate me in, and so he did.

What were some of the really surprising things about Henry's memory, things that you couldn't predict or expect? Yes, well, interestingly he spent a lot of time watching television and reading magazines, and he would actually look at the same magazine over and over again, not knowing he had already read it. So he had a lot of exposure to the media and celebrities.

And so it turns out that he was able to pick up a few little crumbs of information about famous people. Through a lot of exposure he could give accurate distinguishing information about a small number of people. The way the experiment went was they would show him two names, one was a famous name and the other was a name picked from the Boston phonebook. And so all he had to do was say which of the two names is famous.

And we had names from preoperative years and we had names from post-operative years, so pre, post So these were people who became famous after his operation, in the '60s, '70s and '80s. So then they took this experiment one step further and they said, 'Henry, why were these people famous?

For example, for Julie Andrews he said she was famous for singing on Broadway. Not completely correct, but he has the essence of it. Woody Allen, a comic in movie pictures. Liza Minnelli, a movie star, actress, dancer too.

So these people obviously captured his fancy. I think that there is an emotional component to his surprising memory for these few people. Kennedy didn't really come to prominence until the s, but his family had been famous, his father was the ambassador to England before World War II.

And also they were Catholic, so I'm sure that when JFK died that he and his mother were just glued to the television watching the conversations after. And maybe Woody Allen…Henry had a very good sense of humour, and this may be why Woody Allen, who sometimes is comical, would appeal to him. So what light has it cast on that connection between emotions and memory?

Well, we know from other experiments that we did in our lab and in many other labs as well, that your memory for emotional information is much better than your memory for neutral information. And we have very vivid memories ingrained in our brains, in our hearts. It's that kind of thing that's indelible. In contrast, one of the huge events in the US is our Super Bowl, you know, the final football competition to figure out who is the very best team.

It's a very big deal. But after it's over people don't remember the details unless it was their home team that won or lost. They don't remember the excruciating details like you do for an event that's very emotional. We're hearing about the famous case of HM, the man who, after an operation on his brain to relieve his severe epilepsy, completely lost his long-term memory. So having worked so closely with him over so many years on memory, what are your reflections and conclusions now about the significance of memory and its effect on our identity as a human being?

Yes, this is a great question, because scholars ranging from philosophers to neuroscientists have argued that an individual who lacks the capacity to remember also lacks an identity. So did Henry have a sense of self? And the answer is yes, absolutely he did, but it was less complete than ours. Our notion of self is a composite of our memories from the past and the present, and also our plans for the future.

And when we examine Henry's access to these time periods, we find that it was patchy. So I've already told you about the preoperative years, that he had wonderful memory of the facts that he was exposed to during his life, but he had no episodic autobiographical memories.

But in terms of the present his memory was decimated, but he did have some selective insights and fragments of information about his own situation.

So in this sense he did have an identity. He was aware from before his operation that he had epilepsy, and he also knew that he had an operation on his head, that's the way he phrased it, on his head, he didn't say 'on my brain'. He also had the feeling that the procedure…he had the feeling it had been tried on only a few people before him and that during his operation something had gone amiss.

And of course he knew he didn't remember things, he knew he had a bad memory, and he would frequently say, 'I don't remember. So he knew he was tall, but he described himself as thin but heavy. And he was unaware that he had grey hair. And for a long time after his parents died he wasn't really sure whether they were living or not living, and he carried a little note in his pocket that said 'Dad is gone, Mom is well'.

So his information about his present was definitely very, very patchy. And also he wasn't well-informed about his internal states. He didn't have a good appreciation of hunger and thirst. He never said, 'I'm hungry, when is the next meal? But he also couldn't appreciate pain, his pain threshold was very high, possibly related to the amygdala lesion.

For many years he had very bad haemorrhoids and they were operated on at one point, but he never complained about them. He just accepted this, and maybe they weren't as painful as they would have been to other people. But another really interesting thing is that when he came to looking into the future he was at a loss. He couldn't construct an agenda. Many times over he stated that he wanted to be a brain surgeon but he couldn't because he wore glasses, and he had different scenarios of how wearing glasses would prohibit his being a surgeon.

But that said, he never had a plan B or a plan C or a plan D, and he was just left with nothing. When I asked him what he thought he would do tomorrow he said, 'Whatever is beneficial. He couldn't create a future and he was never able to chase his dreams because he didn't have any. Henry sadly passed away in , and it must have been a very emotional time for you. You became very close to him, didn't you.

How did that feel, and also what practical things did you have to do to continue the value that Henry had already offered to neuroscience? Let me backtrack a little. In it was clear to me that to make optimal use of all the wonderful rich behavioural data that we were collecting on Henry, that it would be necessary to obtain his brain at autopsy and see exactly what structures had been removed and what structures remained, because we not only wanted to explain the cause of his memory impairment but we also wanted to explain the things that he could remember and all his preserved cognitive capacities.

So in I talked with Henry and his conservator and I explained, first of all, what a valuable research participant Henry was, and I think Henry had an implicit sense of this himself. And so I explained that if they were willing to sign a brain donation form then we would be able to carry the science forward after he died. And they agreed to this, and Henry signed the brain donation form in , and that gave his brain, in fact his whole body to Mass General Hospital and MIT for future research.

So we are the owners of his brain, that's how the research is able to go forward. Now, as he got older and I could see that he was dwindling, his health wasn't great, so I thought, you know, we'd better really plan on what we are going to do because this is the most famous brain in the world and we don't want to botch this autopsy.

In preparation for his death, Suzanne Corkin assembled a team of scientists and MRI brain scanning specialists to plan their strategy for the sad day. Now, when I got the call that he died, of course my heart dropped down to my stomach. But because we had prepared for seven years for this one phone call I had to immediately jump into action. And so what I did was to make the calls that were necessary to mobilise the people to do the scanning that night at Mass General, and the neuropathologist to alert him that we needed to do the autopsy the next morning, so he could make preparations at the morgue so everything would go smoothly.

And that's what happened. One of the key issues was time is of the essence because brain tissue and bodily tissue deteriorate fairly quickly over time. So we actually had him in the MRI scanner just under four hours from the time he died. We scanned him for nine hours that night and did an amazing series of MRI scans. Oh, and you asked me about me and how I felt. Well, up until that point I hadn't really had a chance to connect with my own feelings, but I was there during the nine hours of scanning.

I wasn't very helpful at all, I was in the outer room, but I had my laptop with me and that's when I wrote his obituary, and that's when it suddenly fell on me, a cloud of sadness. And yes, I don't know what to say…it was a sad time. After the many years Henry Molaison spent as the subject of memory studies in the lab, combined with the invaluable extra information made possible by the autopsy and the brain scans conducted after his death, Henry's contribution to our understanding of memory has been enormous, and has inspired many students to pursue careers in neuroscience.

An immediate benefit of Henry's contribution was to other patients. So his catastrophe put neurosurgeons all over the world on notice, that they mustn't remove the hippocampal region on both sides of a patient's brain for any reason at all because if they did that person would definitely become amnesic. Then an offshoot of this knowledge was that neurosurgeons who wanted to remove these key memory structures on one side of a patient's brain, say the left, had to be darn sure that the corresponding structures on the right side were intact.

Because if the right side were damaged, then removing the memory area on the left would cause a bilateral lesion similar to Henry's and amnesia would follow. Later on, to help in this decision researchers designed a procedure that they carried out in the hospital just before the operation to establish the integrity of the supposedly intact memory circuitry so that Henry's case would not be repeated.

Do you think at anytime Henry had any idea of the impact that he would have on neuroscience? I would thank him of course for what he was doing and I would tell him how important it was, and I would say, 'You know, Henry, you're famous. People all over the world know who you are and they know about your wonderful contributions to science and how things are going to be better for other patients because of you.

But naturally the minute he was distracted he forgot it. So sadly the world will remember him to a much greater extent than he could have even appreciated his own importance to the world and to science. How do you feel about answering so many questions and doing all the tests that we give you?

What is found out about me helps you to help others, and I figure that is more important in a way. That's the show for today. Visit the All in the Mind website at abc. Can anyone name the gorgeous piece of music that accompanied it? Parts of 2 pieces of music were used. Thank you, thank you, thank you! HM was one of my favourite stories when I took a Cognitive Psychology course in university.

I hope there might be more. The most interesting half hour on the radio is All In The Mind. And I live in Canada. I discovered it at 3am one night when I couldn't sleep, being broadcast by CBC. Now I listen via the podcast. A most interesting program. A relatively common condition called transient global amnesia TGA can also produce a loss in the ability to form memory, but with preservation of past memory. While the cause of TGA isn't clear, it is thought to involve temporary bloodflow restriction to parts of the brain such as the hippocampus.

This condition is terrifying to the patient and to those around them, but unlike poor HM, TGA is a temporary condition as the name suggests, and tends to be a one off experience. A wonderful story, thanks for bringing this out into the mainstream media! In a world dominated by the 'doom and gloom' news cycle, stories like this are what we need so much.

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