Strange case of clive wearing

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We observed in class the strange case of Clive Wearing, who lost most of his ability to retrieve old memories (retrograde amnesia), and all of his ability to form new long-term memories (anterograde amnesia)after a herpes infection in 1986 which destroyed his hippocampi and much of his cortex.

We noted, however, that Mr. Wearing does seem to retain some portions of his memory - specifically of his wife, Deborah, whom he adores, and of some kinds of foods (he identified stewed spinach in a dish of chicken mozzarella as "cooked salad", indicating a knowledge of salad). We also noted that he is able to write in his journal, play the piano, and maintain basic hygeine, even though he constantly believes that he has just awakened after sleeping for over twenty years.

Please answer this question: given that his brain is so damaged, and that he has been unable to form new memories for almost a quarter century, how can he play new pieces on the piano?

Reference no: EM13496635

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