Independence of memory functions and emotional behavior: separate contributions of the hippocampal formation and the amygdala

Hippocampus. 1991 Apr;1(2):207-20. doi: 10.1002/hipo.450010208.


Structures and connections in the medial temporal lobe of humans and nonhuman primates have long been recognized as important for normal memory and emotional behavior. The present study investigated memory and emotional behavior in normal monkeys and six groups of monkeys with lesions of the medial temporal lobe. Two groups had damage to the hippocampal formation (or adjacent perirhinal and parahippocampal cortex) but not the amygdaloid complex; two groups had either partial or complete damage to the amygdaloid complex but not the hippocampal formation; and two groups had damage to both the hippocampal formation and the amygdaloid complex. Memory was evaluated with three tasks sensitive to human amnesia: (1) delayed nonmatching to sample; (2) retention of object discriminations; and (3) concurrent discrimination learning. Emotional behavior was assessed by measuring the responsiveness of monkeys to 12 different stimulus situations. Damage to the hippocampal formation or anatomically related cortex impaired memory but did not affect emotional behavior. Partial or complete damage to the amygdaloid complex affected emotional behavior but not memory. These findings show that memory impairment and abnormal emotional behavior are anatomically dissociable and independent effects of damage to the medial temporal lobe.

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

  • Amygdala / anatomy & histology
  • Amygdala / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology
  • Consummatory Behavior / physiology
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / physiology*
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology