Questions & Answers about “Patient H.M.”
Luke Dittrich

I am just getting into this foray, and I have no knowledge of specifics that have been investigated by Mr Dittrich or the actions by Dr. Corkin. I am a neuroscientist. I can tell you that destruction of ‘records’ is very common. In fact, I regularly estimate that two thirds of the data my lab collects never gets published or leaves the lab for reasons that are obvious to scientists. We are investigating the unknown. Many of our studies are wrong in their design for reasons that are not obvious until we collect some data. We need to publish the data that does prove its points, and oftentimes that means the first attempt to study something just points out a far better experimental design that we do publish. These records hold anecdotal, partial truths, and there is tremendous potential for them to be taken out of context, especially by non-experts. So, we stack them on our shelves for some length of time, and get rid of them when it is convenient. As to Dr. Corkin, I took over the Learning and Memory lecture for the 1st year Medical Students at the Medical College of Georgia about 8 years ago. I contacted Dr. Corkin about the possibility of using some H.M. media for my lecture, and she sent me a fantastic uninterrupted 10 minute audio interview she had performed with H.M., and it brilliantly illustrates many of the major points about the relationships between medial temporal lobe dependent memory and other forms of memory. Rest in peace, Dr. Corkin, and thanks for the tremendous help to my ability to teach medical students.

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