Recognition memory and the human hippocampus

Neuron. 2003 Jan 9;37(1):171-80. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)01147-9.


The capacity for declarative memory depends on the hippocampal region and adjacent cortex within the medial temporal lobe. One of the most widely studied examples of declarative memory is the capacity to recognize recently encountered material as familiar, but uncertainty remains about whether intact recognition memory depends on the hippocampal region itself and, if so, what the nature of the hippocampal contribution might be. Seven patients with bilateral damage thought to be limited primarily to the hippocampal region were impaired on three standard tests of recognition memory. In addition, the patients were impaired to a similar extent at Remembering and Knowing, measures of the two processes thought to support recognition performance: the ability to remember the learning episode (episodic recollection) and the capacity for judging items as familiar (familiarity).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrophy / etiology
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Learning Disabilities / pathology
  • Learning Disabilities / physiopathology
  • Learning Disabilities / psychology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / pathology*
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology
  • Memory Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Verbal Behavior / physiology