Postmortem examination of patient H.M.'s brain based on histological sectioning and digital 3D reconstruction.

Nature Communications (Impact Factor: 10.74). 01/2014; 5:3122. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4122
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Modern scientific knowledge of how memory functions are organized in the human brain originated from the case of Henry G. Molaison (H.M.), an epileptic patient whose amnesia ensued unexpectedly following a bilateral surgical ablation of medial temporal lobe structures, including the hippocampus. The neuroanatomical extent of the 1953 operation could not be assessed definitively during H.M.'s life. Here we describe the results of a procedure designed to reconstruct a microscopic anatomical model of the whole brain and conduct detailed 3D measurements in the medial temporal lobe region. This approach, combined with cellular-level imaging of stained histological slices, demonstrates a significant amount of residual hippocampal tissue with distinctive cytoarchitecture. Our study also reveals diffuse pathology in the deep white matter and a small, circumscribed lesion in the left orbitofrontal cortex. The findings constitute new evidence that may help elucidate the consequences of H.M.'s operation in the context of the brain's overall pathology.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Griffiths and colleagues provided a clear and thoughtful review of the prediction error model of delusion formation [Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 2014 April 4 (Epub ahead of print)]. As well as reviewing the central ideas and concluding that the existing evidence base is broadly supportive of the model, they provide a detailed critique of some of the experiments that we have performed to study it. Though they conclude that the shortcomings that they identify in these experiments do not fundamentally challenge the prediction error model, we nevertheless respond to these criticisms. We begin by providing a more detailed outline of the model itself as there are certain important aspects of it that were not covered in their review. We then respond to their specific criticisms of the empirical evidence. We defend the neuroimaging contrasts that we used to explore this model of psychosis arguing that, while any single contrast entails some ambiguity, our assumptions have been justified by our extensive background work before and since.
    Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 01/2015; 20(2):1-11. DOI:10.1080/13546805.2014.990625 · 2.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The idea that memory is not a single mental faculty has a long and interesting history but became a topic of experimental and biologic inquiry only in the mid-20th century. It is now clear that there are different kinds of memory, which are supported by different brain systems. One major distinction can be drawn between working memory and long-term memory. Long-term memory can be separated into declarative (explicit) memory and a collection of nondeclarative (implicit) forms of memory that include habits, skills, priming, and simple forms of conditioning. These memory systems depend variously on the hippocampus and related structures in the parahippocampal gyrus, as well as on the amygdala, the striatum, cerebellum, and the neocortex. This work recounts the discovery of declarative and nondeclarative memory and then describes the nature of declarative memory, working memory, nondeclarative memory, and the relationship between memory systems. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.
    Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology 03/2015; 7(3). DOI:10.1101/cshperspect.a021667 · 8.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The hippocampus has traditionally been thought to be critical for conscious explicit memory but not necessary for unconscious implicit memory processing. In a recent study of a group of mild amnesia patients with evidence of MTL damage limited to the hippocampus, subjects were tested on a direct test of item recognition confidence while electroencephalogram (EEG) was acquired, and revealed intact measures of explicit memory from 400-600ms (mid-frontal old-new effect, FN400). The current investigation re-analyzed this data to study event-related potentials (ERPs) of implicit memory, using a recently developed procedure that eliminated declarative memory differences. Prior ERP findings from this technique were first replicated in two independent matched control groups, which exhibited reliable implicit memory effects in posterior scalp regions from 400-600msec, which were topographically dissociated from the explicit memory effects of familiarity. However, patients were found to be dramatically impaired in implicit memory effects relative to control subjects, as quantified by a reliable condition x group interaction. Several control analysis were conducted to consider alternative factors that could account for the results, including outliers, sample size, age, or contamination by explicit memory, and each of these factors were systematically ruled out. Results suggest that the hippocampus plays a fundamental role in aspects of memory processing that is beyond conscious awareness. The current findings therefore indicate that both memory systems of implicit and explicit memory may rely upon the same neural structures - but function in different physiological ways.
    NeuroImage 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.069 · 6.13 Impact Factor