She is generally regarded as the founder of the field of the neuropsychology of memory and other cognitive functions in humankind.
Prof. Milner is especially well known for her detailed, longitudinal studies of a single patient, initially known as H.M. who had undergone bilateral temporal lobectomy that included removal of major portions of the hippocampus. Milner demonstrated that H.M. was capable of learning and remembering reasonably complex motor skills, although he had no ability to remember learning them or to remember any other recent events (including Dr. Milner’s name over many years).
Milner demonstrated that there are different types of learning and memory, each dependent on a separate system of the brain. She demonstrated two different memory systems – episodic memory and procedural memory. This pioneering work paved the way for modern learning and memory research.
Milner has received numerous awards for her contributions to neuroscience and
Psychology including memberships in the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada
And the National Academy of Sciences; Companion of the Order of Canada; the National Academy of Sciences Award in the Neurosciences for her seminal investigations of the role of the temporal Lobes and other brain regions in learning, memory, and language;
the Gairdner Award in 2005 and the Balzan Prize in 2009 for her contributions to Cognitive Neurosciences.