Impaired transverse patterning in human amnesia is a special case of impaired memory for two-choice discrimination tasks

Behav Neurosci. 1999 Feb;113(1):3-9. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.113.1.3.


Three amnesic patients with damage limited to the hippocampal formation, a severely amnesic patient with extensive medial temporal lobe damage, and 9 controls were tested on the transverse patterning problem (A + B-, B + C-, and C + A-) and also on 2 control problems. One of the control problems was matched to the transverse patterning problem with respect to the number of pairwise decisions that were required. The 2nd control problem was matched to the transverse patterning problem with respect to the number of trials needed by controls to learn the task. The amnesic patients were impaired at solving both the transverse patterning problem and the control problems. The findings suggest that impaired learning of the transverse patterning problem by amnesic patients derives from their general impairment in declarative memory, which affects performance on most 2-choice discrimination tasks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amnesia / physiopathology*
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Concept Formation / physiology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Problem Solving / physiology*
  • Temporal Lobe / physiopathology
  • Wechsler Scales