A leading expert on memory, Brenda Milner has made significant contributions to our understanding of the brain’s structure and function through long-term studies of patients who have undergone partial brain excisions. Her work is often credited with the creation of the discipline of clinical neuropsychology, which focusses on patient care and behaviour.
Her most famous work investigated Henry ‘H. M.’ Molaison, a patient who suffered from anterograde amnesia after parts of his hippocampus were removed as a treatment for epilepsy. Brenda’s investigation showed that while H. M. could not remember new events, he was capable of learning new motor skills, demonstrating for the first time the existence of multiple memory systems in the brain.