Semantic memory functioning and the left temporal lobe



Papps BP, Best JJK & O'Carroll R (2000) Semantic memory functioning and the left temporal lobe. Neurocase, 6 (3), pp. 179-192.

The authors report further investigations of patient HA who suffered a head injury in a road traffic accident at the age of 21, which resulted in her left temporal and parietal lobe being largely replaced by cerebrospinal fluid. Despite this devastating lateralized brain damage acquired in adulthood, she presented with relatively normal neurological and neuropsychological functioning, including preservation of verbal memory. Further analysis of her brain structure revealed a preserved strip of inferior and medial left temporal cortex. The focus of the present investigation was to carry out additional studies of HA's semantic memory functioning. Naming, category fluency, visual attribute, superordinate and subordinate knowledge were assessed, as well as both abstract and concrete comprehension, autobiographical memory and knowledge of semantic property information. The results indicate that HA demonstrated relatively normal semantic memory functioning for a woman of her age. It is proposed that the preserved strip of inferotemporal cortex may account for this normative performance, providing further support for the theoretical importance of this region in relation to semantic memory functioning.

preserved abilities; neuropsychology; hippocampus; synonymy; concrete comprehension; abstract comprehension; naming; crossed non-aphasia

Neurocase: Volume 6, Issue 3

Publication date31/12/2000
PublisherTaylor and Francis

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Professor Ronan O'Carroll
Professor Ronan O'Carroll

Professor, Psychology

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