Comparisons between forms of amnesia: some deficits are unique to Korsakoff's syndrome

L R Squire
Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition 1982, 8 (6): 560-71
Certain features of abnormal memory, which have figured prominently in theoretical treatments of the amnesic syndrome, were assessed in patients with Korsakoff's syndrome, in Case N.A., and in patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy. Patients with Korsakoff's syndrome differed from the other patients by (a) failing to exhibit release from proactive interference, and (b) being disproportionately impaired in the ability to make judgments about the temporal order of recent events. These deficits appear to be related to frontal lobe damage and are superimposed on a more basic memory disorder. Theories of amnesia should be founded on the basic memory disorder and not on deficits such as these, which have no obligatory relationship to amnesia. Dissociations between aspects of memory, revealed by the study of amnesia, can also shed light on the organization of memory in the brain.

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