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
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
27.02.2017 | Life Sciences