Monday, March 22, 2010

Seamless and has to do with self identity

I wrote a song about H.M. yesterday. For those of you who are not familiar with H.M., he is a famous amnesic patient who was very widely studied in the 50's and 60's and was a major contribution to the field of cognitive psychology, especially in memory research. The nature of his amnesia prevented him from forming new, explicit memories. Thus every single day for him was a brand new experience. Perhaps the most bewildering thing about H.M. was that even though he could never recall people he has met countless times in previous encounters, he could however retain very basic and implicit information that involved motor functioning. What's even more amazing was that while he could sometimes perform certain tasks fluently, he could not explicitly explain as to how or why he had done them so easily...he just did, and that was that.
I can't possibly imagine living my live without the ability to remember. I think it'd be a very horrific thing knowing that a lot of who you are and what you do can no longer be comprehended and understood. The world would become extremely confusing since people, things and event are constantly changing with passage of time but my own would stand still, without a past to reflect on or future to look forward to. Worst yet, I would be none the wiser about my disability.

My outfit had nothing to do with H.M. per se, but it was certainly inspired by a recent memory. I saw a girl at a restaurant I went to on Saturday wearing something similar and I haven't been able to shake the image of her since.


Isabel said...

Oooh, what a fascinating post! I had never heard of H.M. before but I used to read psych textbooks for fun as a kid. I really liked the parts on personality disorders.

Mimi said...

I read about HM this year as well! It is definitely sad to have to live like that. I wouldn't want to.

Have you read about Clive Wearing? He was a famous English musician in his mid-forties, and was struck by a stroke. Afterwards, he was still able to hear and see everything, BUT everytime he blinked, he forgot the events of BEFORE the blink. He had a memory span of only seconds. His wife wrote a memoir in 2005. I really want to read it. but can't find it in my local library.

Well, on a brighter note, I love your outfit. Your flats and flannel shirt are cute (:

Are you studying psychology in post-secondary school right now? I thought I wanted to do so, but after taking Psychology this year, I'm not so sure anymore...

pixelhazard said...

What an interesting case study. With such a unique problem i think i should like to be none the wiser

{ I V Y } said...

wow this is a great post!