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"Trouble In Mind" and amnesia

I sent my completed manuscript for “Trouble In Mind” off to my OUP editor in New York this week, so now I can get back to my fiction writing, at least until my editor returns it with her editing suggestions. Hopefully there won’t be too much revising to do. The planned publication date is December this year, which is not that far away. I think the book will be an interesting and engaging read for a wide range of people; from neuropsychology and medical students to people with neurological disorders and their families, and of course for general readers who enjoy stories about real people who beat the odds, or at least do their best when faced with such a challenge as a brain injury or disease, and also for readers who are fascinated by the brain and how damage to it affects our thinking, behaviors, personality, and relationships.

There is a chapter in the book about the most studied single case study in history, HM, who I was privileged to work with many years ago when I was at MIT in Boston. HM died in December, 2008, after more than 55 years participating in hundreds of experiments about memory. Most undergraduate psychology students will have heard about HM, who, after a neurosurgical operation to treat his epilepsy, was unable to consciously remember anything again. As a result, scientists discovered that a part of the brain called the hippocampus was essential for laying down memories, and when it was removed or damaged on both sides of the brain the patient became densely amnesic. After his death, HM’s real name, Henry Molaison, was revealed to the public. If you go to my page on “Trouble In Mind” under “Works” you can watch a short CNN video about him, and the amazing role in neuroscience his brain is playing even after his death. If I can work out how to do it, I’ll put an audio clip of some of my taped conversations with HM on my website in due course.
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