The winning segment asked how a famous psychology subject named H.M. could retain memories of his childhood but not recall short-term memories such as what he had for lunch. It told how researchers are starting to learn what memories may be made of in the complex chemistry of the brain. Through animal experiments, neurobiologists are beginning to pinpoint specific molecules in the brain that are associated with the formation of memories. They also have found molecules that can erase memories forever. Peggy Girshman, executive editor for online at Kaiser Health News, said the broadcast was “an excellent presentation of a compelling story combined with an impressively clear description of the neuroscience.” Holt said her reporting “allowed me to profile the scientists sorting out the chemical and electrical changes that allow us to keep, indefinitely, the recollections of a lifetime.” Holt previously won a AAAS science journalism award in 2002 for a WGBH/NOVA program on “18 Ways to Make a Baby.”
Sarah Holt is an award-winning producer, director, writer, and editor whose work for PBS and cable includes films about science, economics, and history. In pursuit of her stories, she has followed explorers into unknown caves, doctors into the midst of Third World epidemics, and scientists unraveling the secrets of our genetic code. Ms. Holt won an Emmy for “outstanding informational programming” for producing and directing for the PBS series, RX for Survival.