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Brain Lang. 2004 Apr;89(1):83-90.

Levels of processing with free and cued recall and unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neuropsychologie Expérimentale, Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux, France.


This study investigates the role of the temporal lobes in levels-of-processing tasks (phonetic and semantic encoding) according to the nature of recall tasks (free and cued recall). These tasks were administered to 48 patients with unilateral temporal epilepsy (right "RTLE"=24; left "LTLE"=24) and a normal group (n=24). The results indicated that LTLE patients were impaired for semantic processing (free and cued recall) and for phonetic processing (free and cued recall), while for RTLE patients deficits appeared in free recall with semantic processing. It is suggested that the left temporal lobe is involved in all aspects of verbal memory, and that the right temporal lobe is specialized in semantic processing. Moreover, our data seem to indicate that RTLE patients present a retrieval processing impairment (semantic condition), whereas the LTLE group is characterized by encoding difficulties in the phonetic and semantic condition.

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