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Cortex. 1995 Jun;31(2):345-55.

Relations between verbal and nonverbal memory performance: evidence of confounding effects particularly in patients with right temporal lobe epilepsy.

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University Clinic of Epileptology, Bonn.


Confounding left hemisphere verbalization strategies can be suggested as being a major problem in the evaluation of the assumed involvement of right temporo-limbic structures in "nonverbal" visual/figural memory processing. We addressed this issue by evaluating the easily-verbalized Benton-visual-retention-test in 60 patients with either left (LTLE) or right temporal lobe epilepsy (RTLE) and 30 healthy controls. We formally estimated the informational (verbal) content of each item which hypothetically would be needed to solely retain the item from verbal memory. The results indicated confounding of verbal learning and figural memory only in the presence of right temporal lobe dysfunctions. Selective visual/figural learning deficits in RTLE patients became obvious when the verbal load of the figural material exceeded their verbal learning capacity. Instead of excluding verbalization by the use of abstract figural items, its inclusion provides a possibility to control compensatory strategies which overshadow the presence of visual/figural memory deficits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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