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Episodic and Semantic Memory Disorders

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Handbook on the Neuropsychology of Aging and Dementia

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Abstract

In its most pure form, the human amnesic syndrome involves a disabling impairment in new learning accompanied by some degree of impairment in aspects of remote memory in the context of relatively normal intellectual ability, language, and attention span. Neuropsychological research has clearly shown that lesions within the brain’s extended memory system (medial temporal lobe, diencephalon, and basal forebrain) produce anterograde amnesia while leaving other aspects of memory (retrieval of general knowledge, vocabulary, names) relatively intact. The episodic–semantic distinction has been useful in explaining key characteristics of the human amnesic syndrome. This chapter provides a framework for characterizing the distinction between “episodic” and “semantic” memory and discusses the clinical features and assessment of disordered function in each of these two domains.

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Bauer, R.M., Gaynor, L., Moreno, C., Kuhn, T. (2019). Episodic and Semantic Memory Disorders. In: Ravdin, L.D., Katzen, H.L. (eds) Handbook on the Neuropsychology of Aging and Dementia. Clinical Handbooks in Neuropsychology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93497-6_37

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