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Journal article

Working Memory and the Hippocampus

Baddeley A, Jarrold C, Vargha-Khadem F ...see all
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Abstract

■ A number of studies suggest an important role for the hippo-campus in tasks involving visuospatial or relational working mem-ory. We test the generality of this proposal across tasks using a battery designed to investigate the various components of work-ing memory, studying the working memory performance of Jon, who shows a bilateral reduction in hippocampal volume of approximately 50%, comparing him to a group of 48 college stu-dents. We measure performance on four complex working mem-ory span measures based on combining visuospatial and verbal storage with visuospatial or verbal concurrent processing as well as measuring Jonʼs ability to carry out the component storage and processing aspects of these tasks. Jon performed at a con-sistently high level across our range of tasks. Possible reasons for the apparent disparity between our own findings and earlier studies showing a hippocampal deficit are discussed in terms of both the potential differences in the demands placed on rela-tional memory and of the proposed distinction between ego-centric and allocentric visuospatial processing. ■

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Authors

  • Alan Baddeley

  • Christopher Jarrold

  • Faraneh Vargha-Khadem

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