When "long-term memory" no longer means "forever" analysis of accelerated long-term forgetting in a patient with temporal lobe epilepsy

Jansari, Ashok S.; Davis, Kavus; McGibbon, Terence; Firminger, Stephanie and Kapur, Narinder. 2010. When "long-term memory" no longer means "forever" analysis of accelerated long-term forgetting in a patient with temporal lobe epilepsy. Neuropsychologia, 48(6), pp. 1707-1715. ISSN 1873-3514 [Article]

Jansari Neuropsy .pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives.

Download (210kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Classical amnesia involves a difficulty in transferring information to long-term memory and can be detected with standard clinical tests. However, there are some patients who pass these tests but nonetheless show longer-term memory impairments. A case study is presented of a patient, RY, with temporal lobe epilepsy, who exhibited such a profile of "accelerated long-term forgetting". To investigate the effect of recalling information on later retention, recall and recognition for pairs of novel stories were tested at five intervals ranging from 30 min to 4 weeks; we also manipulated whether or not recall and recognition were repeatedly tested for stories. Two studies are reported, one before RY commenced treatment with anticonvulsant medication, and one following 6 months of treatment. Very similar memory profiles were observed in both settings. Against a background of above average cognitive function, results showed that RY's free recall, although initially average or above, was significantly impaired at extended delays (within 24 h) for non-repeatedly recalled episodic information. However, this contrasted with normal performance for information that had been repeatedly recalled. An unresolved issue in the field is the impact of anticonvulsant medication on alleviating long-term forgetting, and the current study shows that anticonvulsant medication can have negligible beneficial effects in improving the rate of long-term forgetting in this type of patient. In addition, our study highlights the possible protective effect of active review of recent episodic memories.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Accelerated long-term forgetting; Long-term amnesia; Temporal lobe epilepsy; Medial temporal lobe; Recollection; Long-term memory

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



May 2010Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Jan 2015 11:19

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)