There have been conflicting reports about the importance of the hippocampal region for recognition memory. Vargha-Khadem et al. (1997) described three patients who became amnesic early in life as a result of damage apparently limited to the hippocampal region. One of these patients (Jon) performed normally on the recognition portion of the Doors and People Test but was severely impaired in recall. To compare adult-onset amnesia directly with these early-onset cases, we tested six amnesic patients on the Doors and People Test. Three of the patients have damage thought to be limited to the hippocampal region. All six patients were markedly impaired on both the recall and recognition portions of the test. To account for the difference between our adult-onset cases and the early-onset case (Jon), we suggest that some compensation for Jon's injury occurred during development, either due to functional reorganization of cortex adjacent to the hippocampus or as the result of learned strategies.