What Happens When You Remove the Hippocampus?

  • Published4 Oct 2016
  • Reviewed4 Oct 2016
  • Author
  • Source TED

When Henry Molaison (now widely known as H.M.) cracked his skull in an accident, he began blacking out and having seizures. In an attempt to cure him, daredevil surgeon Dr. William Skoville removed H.M.'s hippocampus. Luckily, the seizures did go away — but so did his long-term memory! Sam Kean walks us through this astonishing medical case, detailing everything H.M. taught us about the brain and memory.

Illustration depicting a brain scan showing the inside of a skull, the brain, and the spinal cord.

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