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PSY 335 Memory and Amnesia


Title: BHS 499-07 Memory and Amnesia Author: Nancy Alvarado Last modified by: nalvarado Created Date: 4/9/2008 10:23:52 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: PSY 335 Memory and Amnesia

PSY 335 Memory and Amnesia
  • Memory Disorders

Influences on Memory
  • Alcohol Bits Pieces
  • Stress -- Kolb Whishaw Seg 32 (CD 2)
  • Diabetes Kolb Whishaw Ch 13 Seg 6 (CD 3)

Kinds of Memory Disorders
  • Organic having a physical cause
  • Functional having a psychological cause
  • Dys (as a prefix) means difficulty or limited
    ability to perform.
  • A (as a prefix) means complete inability or lack
    of a function.

Alcohol Memory
  • Alcoholic amnesia alcohol prevents
    consolidation so nothing is remembered and no
    memory can be recovered.
  • Alcoholic blackout state-dependent memory, so
    recall is possible if one is back in the same
  • Because many crimes are committed while drunk,
    memory failure is frequently blamed on alcohol.

Sleep Memory
  • New sleep studies suggest a "memory life-cycle
    with three stages - stabilization, consolidation,
    and re-consolidation.
  • Initial stabilization takes up to 6 hours.
  • Sleep needed for consolidation, deep non-REM
  • Alcohol disrupts consolidation
  • Sleep deprivation produces effects similar to
  • Procedural memory and recognition memory are most
    strongly affected.

Sources of Organic Dysfunction
  • Accident
  • Car accidents and other injuries (e.g., N.A.)
  • War
  • Disease
  • Encephalitis (viral) inflammation of the lining
    of the brain, causing swelling.
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Korsakovs syndrome (prolonged alcoholism)

Alzheimers Disease
  • A fatal degenerative disease caused by cell
    failure neurofibrillary tangles and plaques
    that interfere with cell function.
  • All areas of the brain are eventually affected,
    but frontal lobes and memory go first.
  • Confusions and memory problems do not resemble
    normal aging, amnesia or other memory problems.

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Classification of Disorders
  • See Parkin, Ch 5, for tests used to assess memory
  • Disorders classified by type of symptom
  • Generalizing confusion, fuzziness, mental
  • Localizing few generalizing symptoms but
    impairment of specific functions.
  • Clusters of symptoms are a syndrome.
  • Concern about symptoms is a symptom itself.

Frontal Lobe Deficits
  • Confabulation production of a false memory.
  • Momentary confabulation responses that could be
  • Fantastic confabulation responses clearly
  • Source amnesia fact is remembered but not the
  • Memory of temporal order.

Frontal Lobe Deficits (Cont.)
  • Impaired recall more ugly stepsisters, no
  • Metamemory is impaired, including FOK judgments
    and monitoring of search.
  • False recognization
  • Increased false alarms
  • Increased intrusions

Frontal Lobe Deficits (Cont.)
  • Faulty encoding and poor representation may be a
    cause of poorly focused search.
  • Information is needed to guide search.
  • The left frontal lobe guides encoding.
  • The right frontal lobe guides retrieval.

Frontal Lobe Deficits (Cont.)
  • Emotional deficits
  • Cognitive apathy, lack of motivation
  • Flattened affect
  • Impaired awareness of memory loss
  • Inaccurate assessment of performance
  • Lack of distress
  • If confabulations are believed by others, no
    feedback on normalcy.

Alien Hand (Anarchic Hand) Syndrome a Frontal
Lobe Deficit
Peter Sellars in Dr. Strangelove or How I
learned to story worrying and love the bomb
Damage to the Parietal Association Cortex
  • Confusion about directions, inability to use
    words describing spatial relations
  • Under, up, down
  • Inability to name body parts or point to parts of
    the body.
  • Capgras syndrome (rt. Posterior parietal)
    inability to recognize close family members
  • Sometimes animals or even furniture
  • Invasion of the body snatchers

Reading Writing Disorders
  • Alexia inability to read
  • Agraphia inability to write
  • Caused by damage to the left angular gyrus which
    integrates information from the sensory

Pure Word Deafness
  • A person can hear and speak, read and write
    normally but cannot understand speech.
  • Occurs with bilateral destruction of the auditory
    cortex or disconnection from Wernickes area.
  • Because Wernickes area is not damaged, speech
    produced is OK.

Perceptual Deficits
  • Aphasia involves inability to name something.
  • Agnosia involves inability to recognize
  • Visual agnosias inability to combine individual
    visual impressions into complete patterns.

Types of Visual Agnosias
  • Object agnosia inability to recognize common
  • Prosopagnosia inability to recognize faces.
  • Color agnosias
  • Achromatopsia (cortical color blindness)
  • Color anomia inability to name colors.
  • Color agnosia inability to recognize colors

Other Agnosias
  • Amusia tone deafness, melody deafness,
    disorders of rhythm, measure, tempo.
  • Astereoagnosia inability to recognize the
    nature of an object by touch.
  • Asomatoagnosia knowledge of ones own body.
  • Indifference to illness, asymbolia for pain

Pure Anomia
  • Loss of memory of words (anomic aphasia)
  • Cannot name pictures of common objects
  • Difficulty reading and writing
  • Produced by damage to either Brocas or
    Wernickes area (fluent anomia).
  • Use circumlocutions to get around missing words.

Brocas Aphasia
  • Brocas area may contain memories of the
    movements needed to produce speech.
  • Produces three deficits
  • Anomia word-finding difficulty
  • Agrammatism loss of grammatical construction
  • Difficulty with articulation
  • Slow, laborious, nonfluent speech without
    function words with with content words.

Conduction Aphasia
  • Disruption of verbal short term memory due to
    damage to the subcortical axons that connect
    Broca Wernickes areas.
  • Results in poor repetition only meaningful
    words can be repeated (through other means).
  • Non-words cannot be repeated (blaynge).

Amnesic Syndrome
  • Short term memory is intact (unimpaired)
  • Anterograde amnesia present affecting both
    recognition and recall tasks.
  • Retrograde amnesia present, but extent varies.
  • Semantic memory largely intact but can be
    affected by antero retro amnesias.
  • Procedural memory is intact.

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Causes of Amnesic Syndrome
  • Damage to
  • Hippocampus
  • Temporal cortex
  • Diencephalon (especially mamillary bodies)
  • Herpes simplex encephalitis
  • Korsakoffs syndrome (thiamine deficiency plus
    chronic alcoholism)
  • Direct injury (H.M., N.A.)

Anterograde Amnesia
  • No new declarative information can be added to
    long-term memory
  • Events from the present are quickly forgotten
  • Usually accompanied by retrograde amnesia.
  • Performance on IQ tests is unimpaired because it
    relies on info learned in past.

Retrograde Amnesia
  • Declarative information from the past is
  • Information is forgotten in a temporal gradient
    (based on time)
  • Ribots law newer information forgotten first.
  • Both semantic and episodic information show this
  • Difficult to test due to differences in life
    experiences, impairment varies.

Focal Retrograde Amnesia
  • Loss of remote memory unaccompanied by
    anterograde amnesia.
  • May occur when the temporal cortex is damaged but
    not the hippocampus.
  • Cases reported without head injury and with loss
    of procedural memory are probably malingering

Evidence for Implicit Memory
  • Alzheimers patients show impaired priming.
  • Huntingtons Chorea patients show normal priming
    but impaired procedural memory.
  • Procedural memory and priming are spared by