Clive Wearing

Topics: Hippocampus, Memory, Amnesia Pages: 1 (355 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Clive Wearing
Born May 11, 1939 (74 years old) in the UK, he is a musicologist, conductor, and keyboardist. He suffers from anterograde and retrograde amnesia, which means that he lacks the ability to form new memories and to recall old ones. On march 27 1985, contracted a virus (Herpsviral encephalitis) that attacked his central nervous system, since then he hasn’t been able to store new memories or to control emotions and associate memories well. He developed a case of total amnesia because of his illness, since the hippocampus (are required to transfer memories from short term to long term) is damaged, he can’t form lasting new memories, his memory last from 7 to 30 seconds. He remembers very little of his life before his illness, for example that he has kids but doesn’t remember their names, his love for his second wife who he married a year before his illness, when he eats he can remember the name of the food but can’t relate it to taste. He has only a moment-to-moment consciousness, he can still play the piano, conduct a choir, because his procedural memory was not damaged, but whenever he finished playing he forgets that he’s just played and he starts shaking and having spasmodically, these are physical signs of his inability to control his emotions, because of the damage done to his inferior frontal lobe. His brain is still trying to take information in the form of action potentials to neurostructures that don’t exist anymore. Wearing can learn new practices and even very few facts, for example when he saw a video multiple times in the day he didn’t remember watching it, however he was able to predict certain parts of the content without recalling how he learned them.


Shacks, O. (n.d.). A Neurologist’s Notebook: The Abyss : The New Yorker. The New Yorker. Retrieved November 22, 2012, from

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