Does lateral parietal cortex support episodic memory? Evidence from focal lesion patients

Neuropsychologia. 2008;46(7):1743-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.01.011. Epub 2008 Feb 2.


Although neuroimaging and human lesion studies agree that the medial parietal region plays a critical role in episodic memory, many neuroimaging studies have also implicated lateral parietal cortex, leading some researchers to suggest that the lateral region plays a heretofore underappreciated role in episodic memory. Because there are very few extant lesion data on this matter, we examined memory in six cases of focal lateral parietal damage, using both clinical and experimental measures, in which we distinguished between recollection and familiarity. The patients did not have amnesia, but they did show evidence of disrupted recollection on an anterograde memory task. Although the exact mechanisms remain to be elucidated, lateral parietal damage appears to impair some aspects of episodic memory.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amnesia, Anterograde / diagnosis
  • Amnesia, Anterograde / physiopathology
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Interviews as Topic / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Mental Recall
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology
  • Parietal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology