Amnesia in monkeys after lesions of the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus

Ann Neurol. 1985 Jun;17(6):558-64. doi: 10.1002/ana.410170605.


Recent successes in developing an animal model of human amnesia in the monkey have made it feasible to try to identify with certainty the specific structures in the diencephalon and medial temporal region that cause amnesia when damaged. Monkeys with small lesions restricted largely to the posterior portion of the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus were given a test of memory sensitive to human amnesia and a second test that is analogous to the skill-based tasks performed normally by amnesic patients. The monkeys exhibited a marked impairment on the first test and performed normally on the second. The results show that circumscribed lesions of the mediodorsal nucleus can cause substantial amnesia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amnesia / etiology*
  • Amnesia / pathology
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Humans
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Thalamic Diseases / complications*
  • Thalamic Diseases / pathology
  • Thalamic Nuclei / pathology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology