Short Description or Definition
The term “anterograde amnesia” refers to an inability to acquire or retain memories of the ongoing events of one’s life (i.e., autobiographical information) or factual (semantic) information to which one was exposed following the onset of amnesia. In contrast to this, implicit memory (such as the acquisition of simple habits or skills like riding a bicycle) is preserved in amnesia.
Brief Historical Background
Current scientific understanding of anterograde amnesia originated with the study of patient HM. In 1953, at age 27, HM underwent bilateral resection of the medial temporal lobes for alleviation of refractory seizures, which had worsened following a head injury he had suffered at age 9. The resection was successful in reducing his seizures, but, unexpectedly, following the treatment, he was unable to remember his normal daily activities. For example, he could not remember the content of a conversation or even having had a conversation, minutes after...
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