H.M.'s personal crossword puzzles: Understanding memory and language

Brian G. Skotko, David C. Rubin, Larry A. Tupler
2008 Memory  
The amnesic patient H.M. has been solving crossword puzzles nearly all his life. Here, we analysed the linguistic content of 277 of H.M.'s crossword-puzzle solutions. H.M. did not have any unusual difficulties with the orthographic and grammatical components inherent to the puzzles. He exhibited few spelling errors, responded with appropriate parts of speech, and provided answers that were, at times, more convincing to observers than those supplied by the answer keys. These results suggest that
more » ... H.M.'s lexical word-retrieval skills remain fluid despite his profound anterograde amnesia. Once acquired, the maintenance of written language comprehension and production does not seem to require intact medial temporal lobe structures.
doi:10.1080/09658210701864580 pmid:18286414 pmcid:PMC3045671 fatcat:savpvrdn25g6nl2jn43nppiicq