Dissociations in cognitive memory: the syndrome of developmental amnesia

Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, David G. Gadian and Mortimer Mishkin

in Episodic Memory: New Directions in Research

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780198508809
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191687396 | DOI:
Dissociations in cognitive memory: the syndrome of developmental amnesia

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This chapter reviews some recent studies in which additional information has been gathered concerning the syndrome of DA. It first describes two group studies that address the questions of whether the memory profile seen after bilateral hippocampal injury in childhood differs depending on age at injury and extent of damage. The chapter then reviews two additional investigations carried out on one of the patients, ‘Jon’, who was selected for these follow-up studies because of his age (twenty years) and well-preserved intelligence quotient (IQ) (114). Regarding the latter investigations, evidence has been obtained in the initial report that patients with DA may show a dissociation not only between episodic and semantic memory but also between recall and recognition. Thus, on neuropsychological tests, recall (like episodic memory) was markedly impaired, whereas recognition (like semantic memory) seemed to be relatively preserved. This issue is explored further with Jon, using both neuropsychological and electroencephalographic techniques.

Keywords: cognitive memory; developmental amnesia; memory profile; bilateral hippocampal injury; intelligence quotient; semantic memory

Chapter.  5163 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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