Recall of remote episodic memory was assessed in three types of amnesic patient whose remote semantic memory had been evaluated previously. Patients with Korsakoffs syndrome, case N.A. and patients receiving electroconvulsive therapy all succeeded in recalling specific autobiographical episodes in response to single-word cues, and in many conditions performed as well as control subjects. Their pattern of performance generally paralleled that obtained in previous tests of remote semantic memory. These results argue against a view that amnesia reflects a selective deficit of episodic memory and suggest that the semantic-episodic distinction cannot illuminate the fundamental deficit in amnesia. Nor can the facts of amnesia confirm or deny the validity of this distinction in normal memory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience