If you’re interested: Clive Wearing

Travis DixonCognitive Psychology

HM and Clive Wearing are the two most famous amnesia patients in psychology. If you find there stories interesting, you can learn more about them with the materials in this post.

There’s never enough time to cover everything in our IB Psychology course, so here are a few resources that might not fit in normal classes, but you might find interesting nonetheless.

Clive Wearing is very similar to the famous case of HM (Henry Molaison). However, whereas HM’s hippocampus was damaged due to surgery, Wearing’s was damaged due to an illness. The results were similar though: Wearing has no short-term memory but his procedural memory remains in-tact.

You can learn more about Mr Wearing by watching the following video from 44:02-57:40.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzyxSgLtyRM?start=2642&w=560&h=315]

There are no documentaries (that I’m aware of) that feature filmed footage of HM. Wearing, on the other hand, has been the subject of multiple documentaries. This is perhaps due to the fact that his wife is able to sign consent forms to appear in such films, whereas HM was never married.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_P7Y0-wgos]

Here is another documentary on Clive Wearing from 1986:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipD_G7U2FcM&w=560&h=315]

This article in the New Yorker called “The Abyss” also explores the case of Wearing.

Deborah Wearing also wrote a book about her and Clive’s experiences, called “Forever Today,” which is available on Amazon.

A Word of Warning about Wearing

You might be tempted to use details of Clive Wearing’s case in an exam, just as you would HM’s. However, you need to be careful. The above documentaries are not peer-reviewed academic literature, so we need to be wary of basing our conclusions on this evidence. I would recommend using details of HM’s case study (Milner, 1957 and Corkin, 1997) in IB exam answers.