Pinel7Ch11FINAL - Chapter 11 Learning Memory and Amnesia...

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How Your Brain Stores Information Chapter 11 Learning, Memory, and Amnesia
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Amnesic Effects of Bilateral Medial Temporal Lobectomy H.M. – an epileptic who had his temporal lobes removed in 1953 His seizures were dramatically reduced – but so was his long-term memory Mild retrograde amnesia and severe anterograde amnesia
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Tissues typically excised in medial temporal lobectomy
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Amnesia Retrograde (backward-acting) – unable to remember the past Anterograde (forward-acting) – unable to form new memories While H.M. is unable to form most types of new long-term memories (LTM), his short-term memory (STM) is intact
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Assessing H.M. Digit span – H.M. can repeat digits provided the time between learning and recall is within the duration of STM Block-tapping memory-span test – this test demonstrated that H.M.s’ amnesia was global – not limited to one sensory modality
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Assessing H.M. (continued) H.M. improves with practice on sensorimotor tasks (mirror-drawing, rotary-pursuit) and on a nonsensorimotor task (incomplete- pictures) – without recalling previous practice sessions H.M. readily “learns” responses through classical conditioning, but has no memory of conditioning trials
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Scientific Contributions of H.M.’s Case Medial temporal lobes are involved in memory STM and LTM are distinctly separate – H.M. is unable to move memories from STM to LTM, a problem with memory consolidation Memory may exist but not be recalled – as when H.M. exhibits a skill he does not know he has learned
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Explicit vs. Implicit Memories Explicit memories – conscious memories Implicit memories – unconscious memories, as when H.M. shows the benefits of prior experience Repetition priming tests – used to assess implicit memory – performance in identifying word fragments is improved when the words have been seen before
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Medial Temporal Lobe Amnesia Not all patients with this form of amnesia are unable to form new explicit long-term memories – as was the case with H.M. Semantic memory (general information) may function normally while episodic memory (events that one has experienced) does not – they are able to learn facts, but do not remember doing so (the episode when it occurred) Medial temporal lobe amnesiacs may have trouble imagining future events
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Effects of Cerebral Ischemia on the Hippocampus and Memory R.B. suffered damage to just one part of the hippocampus (CA1 pyramidal cell layer) and developed amnesia R.B.’s case suggests that hippocampal damage alone can produce amnesia H.M.’s damage – and amnesia – was more severe than R.B.’s
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Major components of the hippocampus
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Amnesia of Korsakoff’s Syndrome Most commonly seen in alcoholics (or others with a thiamine deficiency) Amnesia, confusion, personality changes, and physical problems Typically damage in the medial diencephalon – medial thalamus + medial hypothalamus
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2008 for the course PSYCH 220 taught by Professor Shervin during the Spring '08 term at Western Washington.

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Pinel7Ch11FINAL - Chapter 11 Learning Memory and Amnesia...

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