The neural substrates of recollection and familiarity

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):468-469 (1999)
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Aggleton & Brown argue that a hippocampal-anterior thalamic system supports the “recollection” of contextual information about previous events, and that a separate perirhinal-medial dorsal thalamic system supports detection of stimulus “familiarity.” Although there is a growing body of human literature that is in agreement with these claims, when recollection and familiarity have been examined in amnesics using the process dissociation or the remember/know procedures, the results do not seem to provide consistent support. We reexamine these studies and describe the results of an additional experiment using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) technique. The results of the reanalysis and the ROC experiment are consistent with Aggleton & Brown's proposal. Patients with damage to both regions exhibit severe deficits in recollection and smaller, but consistent, deficits in familiarity.



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