The Perpetual Now: A Story of Amnesia, Memory, and Love
Remarkably, she still retains much of the intellect and artistic skills from her previous life, but it's not at all clear how closely her consciousness resembles yours or mine. As such, Lonni Sue's story has become part of a much larger scientific narrative--one that is currently challenging traditional wisdom about how human memory and awareness are stored in the brain.
In this probing, compassionate, and illuminating book, award-winning science journalist Michael D. Lemonick uses the unique drama of Lonni Sue Johnson's day-to-day life to give us a nuanced and intimate understanding of the science that lies at the very heart of human nature.
"There may be nothing so evanescent as memory. It s fleeting, it s fickle, it s destructible, and yet it s the very foundation of who we are. So what happens when it s suddenly annihilated? Lonnie Sue Johnson artist, musician, pilot learned that in the most painful and personal way imaginable in 2007, when a sudden encephalitis infection destroyed her hippocampus, the locus of memory in the brain. She recovered, but lives in a world of moments, in which all memories are wiped clean and start over every 10 or 15 minutes. In "The Perpetual Now," Michael D. Lemonick, the rare journalist and author who can weave a compelling narrative while unpacking complex science, tells Johnson's unexpectedly life-affirming story and, in doing so, explores what researchers know and are continually learning about human memory. With this book, as with all of Lemonick's books, I came away both moved by what I read, and smarter for having read it."--Jeffrey Kluger, author of "The Sibling Effect, "co-author of "Apollo 13"
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