The neuropsychology of the Klüver-Bucy syndrome in children

Handb Clin Neurol. 2013:112:1285-8. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52910-7.00051-9.


The Klüver-Bucy syndrome (KBS) is characterized by a number of peculiar behavioral symptoms. The syndrome was first observed in 1939 by Heinrich Klüver and Paul Bucy in the rhesus monkey following removal of the greater portion of the monkey's temporal lobes and rhinencephalon. The animal showed (a) visual agnosia (inability to recognize objects without general loss of visual discrimination), (b) excessive oral tendency (oral exploration of objects), (c) hypermetamorphosis (excessive visual attentiveness), (d) placidity with loss of normal fear and anger responses, (e) altered sexual behavior manifesting mainly as marked and indiscriminate hypersexuality, and (f) changes in eating behavior. In humans, KBS can be complete or incomplete. It occurs as a consequence of neurological disorders that essentially cause destruction or dysfunction of bilateral mesial temporal lobe structures (i.e., Pick disease, Alzheimer disease, cerebral trauma, cerebrovascular accidents, temporal lobe epilepsy, herpetic encephalopathy, heat stroke). As for epilepsy, complete and incomplete KBS are well documented in temporal lobe epilepsy, temporal lobectomy, and partial status epilepticus. KBS can occur at any age. Children seem to show similar symptoms to adults, although some differences in the manifestations of symptoms may be related to the fact that children have not yet learned certain behaviors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kluver-Bucy Syndrome / psychology*
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests