Clive Wearing


Clive Wearing is a British former musicologist, conductor, tenor and keyboardist who suffers from chronic anterograde and retrograde amnesia. He lacks the ability to form new memories, and also cannot recall aspects of his past memories, frequently believing he has only just woken up from a comatose state. 


On 27 March 1985, Wearing, contracted herpesviral encephalitis, a herpes simplex virus that attacked his central nervous system. Since this point, he has been unable to store new memories. He has also been unable to associate memories effectively, and to control his emotions, resulting in unstable moods.

As a result of his illness, Wearing developed a profound case of Amnesia.  Because of damage to the hippocampus, an area required to transfer memories from short-term to long-term memory, he is completely unable to form lasting new memories – his memory only lasts between 7 and 30 seconds. 

He spends every day "waking up" every 20 seconds, "restarting" his consciousness once the time span of his short term memory elapses (about 30 seconds). During this time, he repeatedly questions why he has not seen a doctor, as


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