Learning and Memory Performance before and after Unilateral Selective Amygdalohippocampectomy

  • T. Nadig
  • H. G. Wieser
  • E. Perret
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 28)


The detrimental effect of lesions in the amygdala and hippocampus (A+H) on the performance in tests of learning and memory has been reported for human subjects (Milner, 1974) and for monkeys (Mishkin, 1982). There are several reasons, however, to further analyze in patients the structural-functional correlation between A+H, and learning and memory. Firstly, the unilateral surgical removals in the patients studied by Milner (1980) always encompassed temporal neocortical structures in addition to A+H. The role of the latter in memory was mainly deduced from the difference between neocortical plus A+H lesions, which hampered memory performance, and only neocortical lesions, which did not — or to a lesser degree. Secondly, the selective surgical removal of A+H alone (Wieser and Yasargil, 1982) did not affect the performance of the patients in memory tests that had been shown by Corsi (1972) to be sensitive to combined temporal neocortical and A+H removals (Birri et al., 1982 and Gonser, 1983). These entirely negative findings could be discarded on the assumption of a methodological artifact, as Corsi’s tests had been used in a shortened form, thus probably obscuring at least moderate memory deficits. Nevertheless, the disagreement with a large body of neuropsychological evidence was sufficiently challenging to foster further research.


Memory Performance Epileptic Patient Epileptogenic Focus Temporal Neocortex Postoperative Testing 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Nadig
    • 1
  • H. G. Wieser
    • 1
  • E. Perret
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuropsychology Unit, Departments of Neurology and NeurosurgeryUniversity HospitalZurichSwitzerland

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