Neuronal Activity in the Inferomedial Temporal Cortex Compared with That in the Hippocampal Formation

Implications for Amnesia of Medial Temporal Lobe Origin
  • F. A. W. Wilson
  • M. W. Brown
  • I. P. Riches


Numerous studies have reported that bilateral lesions of the medial temporal lobes cause enduring anterograde amnesia in man (Scoville and Milner, 1957; Victor et al., 1961; De-Jong et al., 1969; Van Buren and Borke, 1972). There are two major and as yet unsolved issues concerning the nature of this amnesia: the structures within the medial temporal lobes that are crucial for memory function and the precise processes that are impaired by the lesions. Published accounts of the temporal lobe damage accompanying the amnesia generally describe lesions of the hippocampus, adjacent temporal cortex, and the amygdala in varying degrees and combinations. Zola-Morgan et al. (1986) have reported a patient (case R.B.) with complete bilateral destruction of region CA1 of the hippocampus. This patient was amnesic, but differed from the patient H.M. (Scoville and Millner, 1957) in two major respects: first, the hippocampal lesions of H.M. were subtotal, sparing the posterior third of the hippocampus; second, H.M.’s impairment was much more severe than R.B. As noted by Squire (1987), damage to the medial temporal cortex exacerbates memory impairments. Thus, it is not clear what the specific contributions of the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the adjacent temporal cortex are to memory and related mechanisms.


Recognition Memory Temporal Cortex Basal Forebrain Medial Temporal Lobe Hippocampal Formation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. A. W. Wilson
    • 1
  • M. W. Brown
    • 2
  • I. P. Riches
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Neuroanatomy, School of MedicineYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, The Medical SchoolUniversity of BristolBristolEngland

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