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The Resource Patient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets, Luke Dittrich

Patient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets, Luke Dittrich

Label
Patient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets
Title
Patient H.M.
Title remainder
a story of memory, madness and family secrets
Statement of responsibility
Luke Dittrich
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the late 1930s, in asylums and hospitals across America, a group of renowned neurosurgeons worked to develop and refine a new class of brain operation--the lobotomy--that they hoped would eradicate everything from schizophrenia to homosexuality. These "psychosurgeons, " as they called themselves, occupied a gray zone between medical research and medical practice, and ended up subjecting untold numbers of people to the types of surgical experiments once limited to chimpanzees. The most important test subject to emerge from this largely untold chapter was a 27-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison. In 1953, Henry--who suffered from severe epilepsy--received a radical new version of the lobotomy. The operation failed to eliminate Henry's seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry left the operating room profoundly amnesic, unable to create new long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today. Journalist Luke Dittrich uses his case as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT. Throughout, he delves into the enduring mysteries of the mind while exposing troubling stories of just how far we've gone in our pursuit of knowledge. It is also, at times, a deeply personal journey: Dittrich's grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison--and thousands of other patients. The author's investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history, and to reveal the tragedy that fueled his grandfather's relentless experimentation--which would revolutionize our understanding of ourselves. This book combines biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting story that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide.--Adapted from dust jacket
Biography type
contains biographical information
Cataloging source
DNLM/DLC
Dewey number
  • 616.85/232
  • 617.481/092
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
RC394.A5
LC item number
D58 2016
Literary form
non fiction
Label
Patient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets, Luke Dittrich
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Note
Includes index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Part I: Origins. The fall ; Crumpled lead and rippled copper ; Dream jobs ; The bridge ; Arline -- Part II: Madness. Pomander walk ; Water, fire, electricity ; Melius anceps remedium quam nullum ; The broken ; Room 2200 ; Sunset Hill ; Experiment successful, but the patient died ; Unlimited access ; Ecphory ; The vacuum and the ice pick -- Part III: The hunt. It was brought into the sea ; Proust on the operating table ; Fortunate misfortunes ; Henry Gustave Molaison (1926-1953) -- Part IV: Discovery. Where angels fear to tread ; Monkeys and men ; Interpreting the stars ; The son-of-a-bitch center ; The MIT research project known as the amnesic patient H.M. -- Part V: Secret wars. Dewey defeats Truman ; A sweet, tractable man ; It is necessary to go to Niagara to see Niagara Falls ; Patient H.M. (1953-2008) ; The smell of bone dust ; Every day is alone in itself ; Postmortem
Control code
1650383
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xv, 440 pages
Isbn
9780812992731
Lccn
2015048638
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) 1650383
  • (Sirsi) 1650383
  • (OCoLC)932587790
Label
Patient H.M. : a story of memory, madness and family secrets, Luke Dittrich
Publication
Copyright
Note
Includes index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Part I: Origins. The fall ; Crumpled lead and rippled copper ; Dream jobs ; The bridge ; Arline -- Part II: Madness. Pomander walk ; Water, fire, electricity ; Melius anceps remedium quam nullum ; The broken ; Room 2200 ; Sunset Hill ; Experiment successful, but the patient died ; Unlimited access ; Ecphory ; The vacuum and the ice pick -- Part III: The hunt. It was brought into the sea ; Proust on the operating table ; Fortunate misfortunes ; Henry Gustave Molaison (1926-1953) -- Part IV: Discovery. Where angels fear to tread ; Monkeys and men ; Interpreting the stars ; The son-of-a-bitch center ; The MIT research project known as the amnesic patient H.M. -- Part V: Secret wars. Dewey defeats Truman ; A sweet, tractable man ; It is necessary to go to Niagara to see Niagara Falls ; Patient H.M. (1953-2008) ; The smell of bone dust ; Every day is alone in itself ; Postmortem
Control code
1650383
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
xv, 440 pages
Isbn
9780812992731
Lccn
2015048638
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
n
Other physical details
illustrations
System control number
  • (Sirsi) 1650383
  • (Sirsi) 1650383
  • (OCoLC)932587790

Library Locations

    • Reuben Hoar Library (Littleton)Borrow it
      41 Shattuck Street, Littleton, MA, 01460, US
      42.5421931 -71.48061799999999
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