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