Human anterograde amnesia can result from a variety of etiologies, including hypoxic brain injury and anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm rupture. Although each etiology can cause a similarly severe disruption in declarative memory for verbal and visual material, there may be differences in incrementally acquired, feedback-based learning, as well as generalization. Here, 6 individuals who survived hypoxic brain injury, 7 individuals who survived ACoA aneurysm rupture, and 13 matched controls were tested on 2 tasks that included a feedback-based learning phase followed by a transfer phase in which familiar information is presented in new ways. In both tasks, the ACoA group was slow on initial learning, but those patients who completed the learning phase went on to transfer as well as controls. In the hypoxic group, 1 patient failed to complete either task; the remaining hypoxic group did not differ from controls during learning of either task, but was impaired on transfer. These results highlight a difference in feedback-based learning in 2 amnesic etiologies, despite similar levels of declarative memory impairment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- basal forebrain
- learning and memory