Episodic memory, amnesia, and the hippocampal–anterior thalamic axis

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):425-444 (1999)

Abstract

By utilizing new information from both clinical and experimental (lesion, electrophysiological, and gene-activation) studies with animals, the anatomy underlying anterograde amnesia has been reformulated. The distinction between temporal lobe and diencephalic amnesia is of limited value in that a common feature of anterograde amnesia is damage to part of an comprising the hippocampus, the fornix, the mamillary bodies, and the anterior thalamic nuclei. This view, which can be traced back to Delay and Brion (1969), differs from other recent models in placing critical importance on the efferents from the hippocampus via the fornix to the diencephalon. These are necessary for the encoding and, hence, the effective subsequent recall of episodic memory. An additional feature of this hippocampalanterior thalamic and the perirhinal–medial dorsal thalamic systems are compromised, leading to severe deficits in both recall and recognition

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