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Yesterday Happened: Remembering H.M.

House of the Academy, Cambridge, MA
February 15, 2012

Click Video for individual recordings.

Pictured, from left: Debra Wise, Steven Barkhimer, Wesley Savick, Anna Kohler.

Stage Reading of Yesterday Happened: Remembering H.M.

Catalyst Collaborative@MIT (CC@MIT) is a unique collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Underground Railway Theater, a company with more than 30 years of experience with interdisciplinary inquiry through the theater. CC@MIT is dedicated to creating and presenting plays that deepen public understanding about science while simultaneously providing an artistic and emotional experience not available in other forms of dialogue about science. Since its launch in 2005, CC@MIT has produced plays exploring a wide range of science content and theatrical form, including an adaptation of Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, Peter Parnell’s QED about Richard Feynman, Brecht’s The Life of Galileo directed by David Wheeler, and From Orchids to Octopi–an evolutionary love story (commissioned by the National Institutes of Health and awarded Best New Play 2010 by the Independent Reviewers of New England). Video (26 mins)

Robert Desimone is Director of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and the Doris and Don Berkey Professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the neural bases of attention and executive control, which are frequently abnormal in major mental diseases. Prior to joining the McGovern Institute in 2004, he was Director of the Intramural Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous awards, including the Troland Prize of the National Academy of Sciences and the Golden Brain Award of the Minerva Foundation. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001. Video (8 mins)
Suzanne Corkin is Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the biological bases of human memory systems, cognitive and neural characteristics of healthy aging, and natural history and pathophysiology of degenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. She worked with H.M. (as he was known to the scientifc community) from 1962 until his death in 2008. Her book Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesic Patient, H.M. describes H.M.’s personal story and his groundbreaking contributions to the science of memory. Her edited books include The Neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease (1996), Alzheimer’s Disease: Amyloid Precursor Proteins, Signal Transduction, and Neuronal Transplantation (1993), Topics in the Basic and Clinical Science of Dementia (1987), and Memory Dysfunctions: An Integration of Animal and Human Research from Preclinical and Clinical Perspectives (1985). Video (8 mins)
John D. E. Gabrieli is Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Grover Hermann Professor in Health Sciences and Technology and Cognitive Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at mit and in the Harvard-mit Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He co-directs the mitClinical Research Center. By combining brain imaging with behavioral tests, he studies the neural basis of the organization of memory, thought, and emotion in human subjects. As a graduate student with Suzanne Corkin at mit, he carried out research with H.M. Video (6 mins)
Elizabeth Kensinger is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at Boston College. Her research examines the effect of emotional content on memory: specifically, the cognitive and neural mechanisms through which emotion influences the vividness and accuracy of memory, and how these influences change across the adult lifespan. Among her honors, she is the 2011 recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and the 2010 recipient of the F. J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Research Prize on Understanding the Human Mind. She is Associate Editor of Cognition and Emotion and Consulting Editor of Memory and Cognition. Her publications include Emotional Memory Across the Adult Lifespan (2009) and How Does Emotion Affect Attention and Memory? (in press). Video (6 mins)

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