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Abnormal categorization and perceptual learning in patients with hippocampal damage

Graham, Kim Samantha ORCID:, Scahill, Victoria L., Hornberger, Michael, Barense, Morgan D., Lee, Andy C. H., Bussey, Timothy J. and Saksida, Lisa M. 2006. Abnormal categorization and perceptual learning in patients with hippocampal damage. Journal of Neuroscience 26 (29) , pp. 7547-7554. 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1535-06.2006

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Prevailing theory holds that the medial temporal lobe (MTL) subserves declarative memory exclusively, whereas nondeclarative memory is independent of this brain region. Recent studies in patients with amnesia, however, have shown that performance on declarative memory tasks may not always be dependent on a single MTL memory system, instead highlighting the critical role of anatomically distinct structures in processing different stimulus types. In particular, the hippocampus has been implicated in spatial memory, whereas perirhinal cortex seems critical for object memory. To assess whether stimulus type would also be a key dimension in nondeclarative memory, patients with selective hippocampal lesions were tested on simple categorization and perceptual learning of faces and virtual reality scenes. The patients demonstrated preserved categorization and perceptual learning of faces but abnormal performance when the stimuli to be discriminated were virtual reality scenes. These findings imply that stimulus type may be a more critical predictor of performance on memory tasks (declarative and nondeclarative) than previously thought. They also suggest that reports of good nondeclarative memory after MTL damage may, in some cases, simply reflect the use of stimuli that fail to tap the processes dependent on structures in this region, such as spatial processing in the case of the hippocampus.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Uncontrolled Keywords: nondeclarative memory; scene discrimination; object discrimination; hippocampus; amnesia; medial temporal lobe
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at (accessed 27/02/2014).
Publisher: Society for Neuroscience
ISSN: 0270-6474
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 02:21

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