Charting the acquisition of semantic knowledge in a case of developmental amnesia

Neuropsychologia. 2008 Sep;46(11):2865-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.05.021. Epub 2008 May 27.


We report the acquisition and recall of novel facts by Jon, a young adult with early onset developmental amnesia whose episodic memory is gravely impaired due to selective bilateral hippocampal damage. Jon succeeded in learning some novel facts but compared with a control group his intertrial retention was impaired during acquisition and, except for the most frequently repeated facts, he was also less accurate in correctly sourcing these facts to the experiment. The results further support the hypothesis that despite a severely compromised episodic memory and hippocampal system, there is nevertheless the capacity to accrue semantic knowledge available to recall.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amnesia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Semantics*
  • Verbal Learning / physiology*