HM's brain being sectioned on webcam right freaking now!!!!

Dec 02 2009 Published by under Cognition, Neuroscience, Open Access

In case anyone missed this, The Brain Observatory at UCSD is slicing perhaps the most well known brain in cognitive neuroscience. That of Henry Molaison, aka "HM".
http://thebrainobservatory.ucsd.edu/hm_live.php
DAY 2 UPDATE: They are slicing again after quite a bit of time to get a new microtome blade going. You can follow Twitter commentary on the #HM hashtag (even if you don't have a Twitt account).

9 responses so far

  • namnezia says:

    Why does it look like they are tossing out every section? I imagine that if you are making 70 micron thick slices from a human brain, it doesn't make sense to save all of them. But I still haven't seen them mount even one! Poor HM...

  • I'm waiting for the point when the frost build-up causes a big chunk to stick and break, the way it always happens during my sectioning.
    The microtome control panel cam--now that's exciting.

  • Tybo says:

    Please tell me someone has a recorded version up. I was in class all day.
    (In retrospect, I probably should have skipped them just to watch this...)

  • DrugMonkey says:

    It should be going on until 12/4. They were estimating 50 hrs of cutting...

  • Anon says:

    They say they will finish today. Love their choice of music!
    #1, they are saving every slice. Each one is put in its own container; at some later time, many will be mounted. Each slice, if I understand it correctly, corresponds to a photo (thousands!), and when mounted, the slice will be brushed, poked, and prodded until it is in the shape seen in the photo. They are looking for donations so that they can mount as many slices as possible--apparently, the glass for each slide is $5. Just the glass, not the time, nor training, nor fixative, nor stains, nor whatever.

  • pinus says:

    Here is my hypothetical question: How much would you pay for a slice of HM's brain, mounted on glass and sealed, framed as art.

  • Anon says:

    Damn... great question, pinus. I wish I could bid, or else wish they would never be sold.

  • pinus says:

    It will never happen...but just imagine.
    After thinking about it for a bit...I wonder if it would be ethical to make and sell framed 'prints' of a section of HM's brain...could be as a way to reward people who donate x dollars to the cause.

  • jenny says:

    Instead of selling prints, maybe have an adopt-a-slice program, with a mention in the final brainmap available online. "This slice possible thanks to contributions by... " Teehee!
    (I'd do it)

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