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Verbal and motor memory in the amnestic syndrome


the subject of this study was a 43-year old man who developed a disorder of memory following herpes simplex encephalitis six years earlier. Recent memory was severely affected in contrast to the preservation of both intellect and immediate and remote memory. The impairment of recent memory functions was evident on tasks using verbal material whereas memory for motor tasks such as maze learning and the rendering of new compositions for the piano was preserved. The deficit in remembering verbal items varied with (1) the type of retrieval (recall vs. recognition), (2) the modality of stimulus presentation (acoustic vs. visual), and (3) the way in which learning was attempted (serial presentation vs. self-ordering and classification). Evidence of proactive interference in memory formation was demonstrated by intrusion errors. © 1970.

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