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The Man With 7 Second Memory

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Eternal
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I've just watched a documentary on the man who suffers from a very rare case of amnesia which basically makes him forget what happened only moments ago. As I was watching the program, I realized how essential memory is to quality of life. If somebody gave me a choice of spending the rest of my life with the same condition as that man, or being totally paralyzed but with functioning brain, I'd go for the latter.

The man has been like this for 20 years, and he keeps a journal. They showed a stack of them, where he would write:

1:25 I am awake!

only to cross it out a minute later

1:25 I am awake!

1:27 Disregard the above. NOW I am truly awake!

and then he would do the same a few minutes later, and he'd be going in loops for pages and pages, crossing out previous entries.

He can't read books, because he forgets what happened a few sentences before. He can't enjoy TV because he can't follow the plot. He'd have the TV crew in his room, talk to them, then turn around to get something, and then act suprised when he turned back again. He usually has the same conversation over and over.

He's essentially condemned to forever live in the present.

What kind of values can this man possibly hope to attain? Would this be one of those cases, when committing suicide wouldn't be immoral?

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Without making light of this tragic situation, there is a fictional mystery movie with a character who has pretty much this same affliction. The movie is called "Momento". When I saw the movie, I wasn't sure such condition actually existed.

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When I saw the movie, I wasn't sure such condition actually existed.

Yes, there are quite a few documented cases of this phenomenon, which I remember learning about in Brain and Behavior class. It's caused by damage to the hippocampus, which is responsible for short term memory.

This type of injury is not common because the hippocampus is at the center of the brain, from what I understand.

Tragic and mind-boggling.

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...there is a fictional mystery movie with a character who has pretty much this same affliction. The movie is called "Momento".

This is an OUTSTANDING movie. It's powerful, moving, tragic, memorable, and definitely makes you think. You also have to see it twice to really get it. And watch out for any idiot friends who want to give you "spoilers!"

(Made in 2000 starring Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano and Carrie-Anne Moss.)

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What kind of values can this man possibly hope to attain? Would this be one of those cases, when committing suicide wouldn't be immoral?

How could he do it? By the time he got done loading the gun (if he could manage to acquire one) he'd forget why he was holding it. I doubt he suffers. He is not like a person that betrays values or is anti-value, they are simply not applicable to him.

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