Source memory impairment in patients with frontal lobe lesions

Neuropsychologia. 1989;27(8):1043-56. doi: 10.1016/0028-3932(89)90184-x.


In two experiments, we investigated memory for recently learned facts and memory for the source of the facts (i.e. where and when the facts were learned) in patients with frontal lobe lesions, age-matched elderly control subjects, and younger subjects. In both experiments, patients with frontal lobe lesions recalled as many facts as their age-matched subjects and the younger subjects, but they frequently attributed facts to incorrect sources. In the second experiment, both patients with frontal lobe lesions and their age-matched subjects committed more source errors than younger subjects. These findings suggest that the frontal lobes may play a special role in associating facts to the context in which they were learned. The results are also discussed in the light of the source memory impairment that occurs in amnesic patients.

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
  • Aged
  • Attention / physiology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Frontal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Memory
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Mental Recall / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Retention, Psychology / physiology