Damage to the hippocampus and medial temporal (MT) structures can lead to anterograde amnesia and may also impair latent learning, in which prior exposure to cues affects their subsequent associability. Normally, latent learning may reflect both representational and attentional mechanisms. Prior work has suggested that individuals with MT amnesia have specific deficits in representational processing; thus, latent learning that invokes primarily representational mechanisms might be especially impaired in MT amnesia. The current results provide preliminary confirmation of this prediction. In Experiment 1, a latent learning paradigm expected to invoke representational mechanisms was impaired in individuals with MT amnesia, whereas in Experiment 2, a paradigm expected to invoke other attentional mechanisms was spared in individuals with MT amnesia. This suggests the representational and attentional components of latent learning are dissociable and differentially affected in anterograde amnesia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology