After providing all the funding for The Brain from Top to Bottom for over 10 years, the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction informed us that because of budget cuts, they were going to be forced to stop sponsoring us as of March 31st, 2013.

We have approached a number of organizations, all of which have recognized the value of our work. But we have not managed to find the funding we need. We must therefore ask our readers for donations so that we can continue updating and adding new content to The Brain from Top to Bottom web site and blog.

Please, rest assured that we are doing our utmost to continue our mission of providing the general public with the best possible information about the brain and neuroscience in the original spirit of the Internet: the desire to share information free of charge and with no adverstising.

Whether your support is moral, financial, or both, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Bruno Dubuc, Patrick Robert, Denis Paquet, and Al Daigen

Tuesday, 10 February 2015
Famous Amnesia Patient “K.C.” Dies

He was almost as famous as Henri Molaison, the famous patient “H.M.” who was studied for decades by eminent researchers such as neuropsychologist Brenda Milner, in Montreal, and who died in 2008. Patient “K.C.”, whose real name was Kent Cochrane, died more recently, on March 27, 2014, at the age of 62.

K.C. grew up in the suburbs of Toronto. Unlike H.M., who had had his two hippocampi surgically removed because of epilepsy, K.C. suffered serious damage to his brain, including both hippocampi, in a motorcycle accident on his way home from work, at the age of 30.

But like H.M, K.C. ended up with a very severe memory deficit: total anterograde amnesia and gradual retrograde amnesia. This means that he could not store any new memories, and he could not recall his past just before the accident (but the further back in time before the accident, the more memories he had).

His explicit memory (also known as declarative memory) was heavily affected, but not in precisely the same way as H.M’s. For example, Kent Cochrane could successfully store new knowledge about the world, since he knew what AIDS was and what the Internet was when people talked to him about them, even though both of these concepts had emerged in popular culture some time after his accident in October 1981.

In fact, this was what enabled Endel Tulving, a cognitive neuroscientist who worked closely with K.C., to establish a distinction between episodic memory and semantic memory, which are now recognized as the two major subdivisions of explicit memory. At the same time, Tulving disproved the idea that memories are stored in a single location in the brain; as we now know, memory storage involves multiple systems incorporating various brain structures networked to one another.

d_lien L’homme sans passé : Décès de l’homme sans mémoire
i_lien Toronto amnesiac whose case helped rewrite chapters of the book on memory dies
i_lien Kent Cochrane
i_lien Endel Tulving

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