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Clive Wearing and HM - Two Evaluations of Brain Function and memory loss.

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Introduction

Strengths Each case study has given us a unique understanding of brain-functioning - outline specifically what each case has done to further our understanding HM Clive Wearing The amygdala and hippocampus play a great role in memory. The removal of these could cause anterograde amnesia, where the patient is able to learn new things, however only after a lot of practice, though the patient does not remember how he has learned these things The herpes simplex encephalitis in the hippocampus plays a role in the cognitive function of memory, and although it is quite hard, it can be attacked by viruses Studies like these can raise interesting question for further research HM Clive Wearing Which specific bit of the brain that was removed from HM was most responsible for the amnesia as well as the severity of his case? What is it about Clive Wearing that made him susceptible to getting amnesia from what would normally just be a regular cold virus? If there are enough similar cases then generalisations can start to be made HM Clive Wearing People with anterograde amnesia could also be looked at and studied, as well as other people with amnesia such as Clive Wearing. ...read more.

Middle

or behaviour or response reactions Clive Wearing's case was continuously monitored over time and thus psychologists could see his behavioural changes and his moods and his reactions over time, thus monitoring if the brain is able to adapt to different circumstances or if he himself can retain memory if actions are continuously repeated, as in the case of HM Weaknesses As each case study is unique, this means that information gained about each of these cases can't be generalised well to other cases HM Clive Wearing It is extremely unlikely that any other patients will have an exact replica of the life that HM has led and therefore their individual circumstances and genetic responses would be different, therefore we cannot be certain that it is only due to the surgical procedure that HM has obtained anterograde amnesia The case of Clive Wearing is quite specific as his is the only noticeable case of amnesia that has been due to a cold virus, as well as his being the most severe case of amnesia in the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this, research is very limited It is possible that there are ethical implications for research studies such as these HM Clive Wearing Despite HM giving his approval for investigation each time that he was asked, he did not recognise and could not remember that he had done the tests before, and thus despite there being immediate consent, there was no long term consent as he could not remember everything that had been tested about him before. In addition, especially with HM where he already begins to forget after a sentence was started, it is not easy for him to stop the experiment as he does not feel as though anything is abnormal or different As with HM, Wearing cannot remember his consent, or remember the aim of the experiment and investigation the whole way through, and thus when he is participating in the experiment, he is not continuously aware of the aim and what he is doing. In this, there are ethical concerns that Wearing cannot stop the experiment, nor is he fully aware of what is going on ?? ?? ?? ?? Kym Anstey 12.1 ...read more.

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