The musician Clive Wearing suffered brain damage through illness and now has no long-term memory, experiencing life only in fragments of seconds or minutes, through short-term memory. His wife maintains that his intelligence and personality remain intact, and that he has learned to adapt to his care home; he has, however, no "access through the gatekeeper circuit to memory for the events of his life".
Watch these two short video clips:
Clive Wearing plays piano despite memory deficit
Even though Clive Wearing cannot remember people or events, his piano-playing skills are intact.
Clive Wearing: A man without memory
Clive Wearing has lost his ability to remember and lives in a perpetual state of having just awoken.
What does this disability tell us about learning?
Short-term memory cannot support learning; long-term memory is essential to store and structure experience.
For further explanation, listen to neuroscience lecture Making Your Mind: Molecules, Motion, and Memory by Dr Eric Kandel, starting at point 4 (Learning and memory).