The hippocampus is part of the medial temporal lobe, known to play a major role in conscious memory. Damage to the medial temporal lobe due to illnesses such as Herpes Simplex Encephalitis, Meningitis and Alzheimer's disease, can cause loss of memories acquired prior to brain damage – known as retrograde amnesia - and an inability to acquire new long-term memories – known as anterograde amnesia.
However, scientists are unsure of the exact role of the hippocampus. Some neuroscientists argue that the hippocampus is critical for all types of conscious memory while others claim it is only involved in recollection and that simple recognition can be performed by other regions of the brain like the outer layer, the cortex. This is the first time that two patients with damage restricted to this area of the brain have been assessed with the same tests in the same lab and they were seen to show strikingly different patterns of memory performance.
Dr Juliet Holdstock, from the University’s School of Psychology, said: “Both patients had suffered anoxia, a disruption of the supply of oxygen to the brain; one as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and the other following complications during surgery. Both patients had brain damage restricted to the hippocampus. One patient showed no evidence of a memory deficit at all while the other had difficulty recalling newly learned information. The latter remained able to recognise recently studied pictures and words.”
“We looked at how hippocampal damage affected recall and recognition. The memory pattern differences seen between the two patients, and between them and others previously observed, could be due to subtle differences in brain pathology. It is possible that the exact location of the damage within the hippocampus may be critical or that some patients may have additional undetected damage in brain regions close to the hippocampus that may also affect their memory.
“Such small differences in brain pathology cannot be detected by even the most state-of-the-art imaging equipment that we have today. Our research has shown that selective damage to the hippocampus can produce a variety of memory outcomes ranging from no memory deficit at all to an impairment of all aspects of conscious memory.”
Laura Johnson | alfa
Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour
24.05.2018 | Arizona State University
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences