Essay on Cognitive Term of Behaviour

811 Words Jan 7th, 2012 4 Pages
Examine one interaction between cognition and physiology in terms of behavior. Evaluate two relevant studies.
One of the most famous case studies of amnesia in the history is HM who was suffering from epileptic seizures and had a surgery when he was only nine years old that removed 2/3 of his hippocampus, medial temporal lobes, parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala. The operation was successful in its primary goal of controlling his epilespsy but as a result of the operation he suffered from severe anterograde amnesia. After the operation, he could not commit new events to long-term memory. He could remember events from before the operation for the rest of his life. His working memory and procedural memory were intact. After the operation,
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He is unable to encode new memories. He only remembers a little part of his life before. He still knows how to play piano, which is because his cerebellum responsible for the maintenance of procedural is not damaged.
The fact that he could no longer remember anything and was not aware, tells us that the hippocampus and the temporal and frontal lobes are the bits responsible for LTM’s and STM’s formation and recall.
In both cases, the hippocampus was damaged, and so they both had problems with their long-term memory. In HM’s case only two thirds of the hippocampus was removed while in Clive’s case most of it was destroyed. As a result both had very severe amnesia and because of that we can conclude that hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for forming/retrieving or storing the LTM. This is an example of the link between cognition and physiology of the brain. However, certain exceptions make this theory a lot more complex. For example HM had remembered JFK’s assassination and both could still learn new skills. In Clive’s case, the fact that he could still emotionally remember his wife does not fit into the former explanation.
However, the researches that were done consistently for these two people are reliable, giving us the opportunity to generalize such hypothesis on the cognitive part of the brain. For example, Brenda Milner, who studied HM following his surgery till his

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