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The Hippocampus: A "Working Memory" Structure? The Effect of Hippocampal Sclerosis on Working Memory

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Patients with medically intractable epilepsy and either hippocampal sclerosis or frontal lobe lesions were compared with healthy controls, to investigate a possible neuroanatomical correlate of a component of working memory: the central executive. Patients were tested on a short-term memory task which comprised visuo-spatial and verbal components, in single and concurrent trials. Differences were found between the patient groups for dual-task capacity, despite being equated on single-task trials. Patients with frontal lobe damage were the most affected by the demands of attention division. The results of this study do not support the thesis of a hippocampal role in the working memory component examined, but point to a frontal lobe focus for this janusian cognitive function. An unexpected finding of an increment in performance over the trials of visuo-spatial assessment, in patients with hippocampal sclerosis, is presented.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1996

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