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Wednesday, 02 December 2009 18:44

See live brain dissection on Web

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The world’s first live Webcast brain dissection will occur at 1300 GMT (8:00 a.m. Central Standard Time) on Wednesday, December 2, 2009.


The world's first live Webcast brain dissection will involve cutting very thin sections of a human brain in order to learn more about memory.

The brain is from Henry Gustav Molaison, who lost most of his hippocampus during an operation in the 1950s.

Molaison, who was famously known to the public as "H.M.", lived until 2008 without the ability to remember daily activities. However, he could learn new tasks.

Read The New York Times obituary of H.G. Molaison at: “H. M., an Unforgettable Amnesiac, Dies at 82.”

The obituary states, "And for those five decades, he was recognized as the most important patient in the history of brain science. As a participant in hundreds of studies, he helped scientists understand the biology of learning, memory and physical dexterity, as well as the fragile nature of human identity."

Suzanne Corkin, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology neuroscientist who worked closely with Molaison, stated, “The extraordinary value of H. M.'s [Henry Molaison’s] brain is that we have roughly 50 years of behavioral data, including measures of different kinds of memory as well as other cognitive functions and even sensory and motor functions.” [Forum Network: "Watch it live: dissection of famous brain”]

See the live Web broadcast at: The Brain Observatory.

His obituary ended with: "Henry Gustav Molaison, born on Feb. 26, 1926, left no survivors. He left a legacy in science that cannot be erased."

For detailed information on the life of Mr. Molaison, along with his contribution to brain science, please read the 10-30-2009 San Diego News article "H.M. Recollected: Famous amnesic launches a bold, new brain project at UCSD."

NOTE: After 1300 GMT, the live video of the brain dissection does not appear. I assume technical difficulties have occurred, or that only section parts of the operation will be shown to the public. Please check back to the website of The Brain Observatory. Once the dissection begins, the complete operation will take approximately thirty hours.

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