Psychophysics of remembering. (1/2979)

We present a new model of remembering in the context of conditional discrimination. For procedures such as delayed matching to sample, the effect of the sample stimuli at the time of remembering is represented by a pair of Thurstonian (normal) distributions of effective stimulus values. The critical assumption of the model is that, based on prior experience, each effective stimulus value is associated with a ratio of reinforcers obtained for previous correct choices of the comparison stimuli. That ratio determines the choice that is made on the basis of the matching law. The standard deviations of the distributions are assumed to increase with increasing retention-interval duration, and the distance between their means is assumed to be a function of other factors that influence overall difficulty of the discrimination. It is a behavioral model in that choice is determined by its reinforcement history. The model predicts that the biasing effects of the reinforcer differential increase with decreasing discriminability and with increasing retention-interval duration. Data from several conditions using a delayed matching-to-sample procedure with pigeons support the predictions.  (+info)

Differential spatial memory impairment after right temporal lobectomy demonstrated using temporal titration. (2/2979)

In this study a temporal titration method to explore the extent to which spatial memory is differentially impaired following right temporal lobectomy was employed. The spatial and non-spatial memory of 19 left and 19 right temporal lobectomy (TL) patients was compared with that of 16 normal controls. The subjects studied an array of 16 toy objects and were subsequently tested for object recall, object recognition and memory for the location of the objects. By systematically varying the retention intervals for each group, it was possible to match all three groups on object recall at sub-ceiling levels. When memory for the position of the objects was assessed at equivalent delays, the right TL group revealed disrupted spatial memory, compared with both left TL and control groups (P < 0.05). MRI was used to quantify the extent of temporal lobe resection in the two groups and a significant correlation between hippocampal removal and both recall of spatial location and object name recall in the right TL group only was shown. These data support the notion of a selective (but not exclusive) spatial memory impairment associated with right temporal lobe damage that is related to the integrity of the hippocampal functioning.  (+info)

Object location learning and non-spatial working memory of patients with Parkinson's disease may be preserved in "real life" situations. (3/2979)

The presence of a spatial memory deficit in Parkinson's disease (PD) is still a matter of discussion. Nineteen PD patients and 16 controls were given two spatial tests and a non-spatial task. First, the subject was led into a room containing 4 objects and had 10 s to memorize their location. After being led outside, the subject had to place icons representing the objects on a map of the room. Differences between the real and estimated locations were evaluated. Afterwards, the subject had to choose a map showing the correct arrangement of objects from 4 alternatives. Locations of some objects were changed before the second test. The subject had 10 s to detect these changes. One point was given for each change or its absence detected. In the non-spatial working memory task, 8 cards of different shapes were used. The subject had to select a different card each time while the cards were shuffled between choices. Errors consisted of selecting previously chosen cards. The means of the above measures for both groups were compared. Absence of any significant differences suggests that PD patients perform well in "real life" memory tests in contrast to similar computerized tests.  (+info)

Episodic retrieval activates the precuneus irrespective of the imagery content of word pair associates. A PET study. (4/2979)

The aim of this study was to evaluate further the role of the precuneus in episodic memory retrieval. The specific hypothesis addressed was that the precuneus is involved in episodic memory retrieval irrespective of the imagery content. Two groups of six right-handed normal male volunteers took part in the study. Each subject underwent six [15O]butanol-PET scans. In each of the six trials, the memory task began with the injection of a bolus of 1500 MBq of [15O]butanol. For Group 1, 12 word pair associates were presented visually, for Group 2 auditorily. The subjects of each group had to learn and retrieve two sets of 12 word pairs each. One set consisted of highly imaginable words and another one of abstract words. Words of both sets were not related semantically, representing 'hard' associations. The presentations of nonsense words served as reference conditions. We demonstrate that the precuneus shows consistent activation during episodic memory retrieval. Precuneus activation occurred in visual and auditory presentation modalities and for both highly imaginable and abstract words. The present study therefore provides further evidence that the precuneus has a specific function in episodic memory retrieval as a multimodal association area.  (+info)

The role of ventral medial wall motor areas in bimanual co-ordination. A combined lesion and activation study. (5/2979)

Two patients with midline tumours and disturbances of bimanual co-ordination as the presenting symptoms were examined. Both reported difficulties whenever the two hands had to act together simultaneously, whereas they had no problems with unimanual dexterity or the use of both hands sequentially. In the first patient the lesion was confined to the cingulate gyrus; in the second it also invaded the corpus callosum and the supplementary motor area. Kinematic analysis of bimanual in-phase and anti-phase movements revealed an impairment of both the temporal adjustment between the hands and the independence of movements between the two hands. A functional imaging study in six volunteers, who performed the same bimanual in-phase and anti-phase tasks, showed strong activations of midline areas including the cingulate and ventral supplementary motor area. The prominent activation of the ventral medial wall motor areas in the volunteers in conjunction with the bimanual co-ordination disorder in the two patients with lesions compromising their function is evidence for their pivotal role in bimanual co-ordination.  (+info)

Motor cortical encoding of serial order in a context-recall task. (6/2979)

The neural encoding of serial order was studied in the motor cortex of monkeys performing a context-recall memory scanning task. Up to five visual stimuli were presented successively on a circle (list presentation phase), and then one of them (test stimulus) changed color; the monkeys had to make a single motor response toward the stimulus that immediately followed the test stimulus in the list. Correct performance in this task depends on memorization of the serial order of the stimuli during their presentation. It was found that changes in neural activity during the list presentation phase reflected the serial order of the stimuli; the effect on cell activity of the serial order of stimuli during their presentation was at least as strong as the effect of motor direction on cell activity during the execution of the motor response. This establishes the serial order of stimuli in a motor task as an important determinant of motor cortical activity during stimulus presentation and in the absence of changes in peripheral motor events, in contrast to the commonly held view of the motor cortex as just an "upper motor neuron."  (+info)

Increased reading speed for stories presented during general anesthesia. (7/2979)

BACKGROUND: In the absence of explicit memories such as the recall and recognition of intraoperative events, memory of auditory information played during general anesthesia has been demonstrated with several tests of implicit memory. In contrast to explicit memory, which requires conscious recollection, implicit memory does not require recollection of previous experiences and is evidenced by a priming effect on task performance. The authors evaluated the effect of a standardized anesthetic technique on implicit memory, first using a word stem completion task, and then a reading speed task in a subsequent study. METHODS: While undergoing lumbar disc surgery, 60 patients were exposed to auditory materials via headphones in two successive experiments. A balanced intravenous technique with propofol and alfentanil infusions and a nitrous oxide-oxygen mixture was used to maintain adequate anesthesia. In the first experiment, 30 patients were exposed randomly to one of the two lists of 34 repeated German nouns; in the second experiment, 30 patients were exposed to one of two tapes containing two short stories. Thirty control patients for each experiment heard the tapes without receiving anesthesia. All patients were tested for implicit memory 6-8 h later: A word stem completion task for the words and a reading speed task for the stories were used as measures of implicit memory. RESULTS: The control group completed the word stems significantly more often with the words that they had heard previously, but no such effect was found in the anesthetized group. However, both the control and patient groups showed a decreased reading time of about 40 ms per word for the previously presented stories compared with the new stories. The patients had no explicit memory of intraoperative events. CONCLUSIONS: Implicit memory was demonstrated after anesthesia by the reading speed task but not by the word stem completion task. Some methodologic aspects, such as using low frequency words or varying study and test modalities, may account for the negative results of the word stem completion task. Another explanation is that anesthesia with propofol, alfentanil, and nitrous oxide suppressed the word priming but not the reading speed measure of implicit memory. The reading speed paradigm seems to provide a stable and reliable measurement of implicit memory.  (+info)

Effects of talker, rate, and amplitude variation on recognition memory for spoken words. (8/2979)

This study investigated the encoding of the surface form of spoken words using a continuous recognition memory task. The purpose was to compare and contrast three sources of stimulus variability--talker, speaking rate, and overall amplitude--to determine the extent to which each source of variability is retained in episodic memory. In Experiment 1, listeners judged whether each word in a list of spoken words was "old" (had occurred previously in the list) or "new." Listeners were more accurate at recognizing a word as old if it was repeated by the same talker and at the same speaking rate; however, there was no recognition advantage for words repeated at the same overall amplitude. In Experiment 2, listeners were first asked to judge whether each word was old or new, as before, and then they had to explicitly judge whether it was repeated by the same talker, at the same rate, or at the same amplitude. On the first task, listeners again showed an advantage in recognition memory for words repeated by the same talker and at same speaking rate, but no advantage occurred for the amplitude condition. However, in all three conditions, listeners were able to explicitly detect whether an old word was repeated by the same talker, at the same rate, or at the same amplitude. These data suggest that although information about all three properties of spoken words is encoded and retained in memory, each source of stimulus variation differs in the extent to which it affects episodic memory for spoken words.  (+info)