Amnesia and the Hippocampal Memory System

Howard Eichenbaum

in The Clinical Neurobiology of the Hippocampus

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199592388
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949922 | DOI:
Amnesia and the Hippocampal Memory System

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Studies on the amnesic patient H.M. began the modern era of the cognitive neuroscience of memory. These studies, and other case studies, showed that damage limited to the hippocampal region results in an impairment that is selective to memory and spares other perceptual, motor, emotional, or cognitive functions. Furthermore, the amnesic deficit is selective to the permanent establishment of new declarative memories. Thus H.M. and other patients with hippocampal damage have intact short-term and working memory, and can form long-term memories that do not rely on remembering specific past events or on the flexible use of memories to solve new problems. These and other characteristics of amnesia following hippocampal damage indicate that the hippocampal memory system is essential to relational memory, the ability to associate multiple events with one other and with their spatial and temporal context, and the ability to integrate many memories into a network of knowledge.

Keywords: declarative memory; procedural memory; priming; skill learning; Pavlovian conditioning; episodic memory; semantic memory; relational memory; retrograde amnesia; memory consolidation; short-term memory; long-term memory

Chapter.  10273 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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