Effects of level of processing but not of task enactment on recognition memory in a case of developmental amnesia

John M Gardiner, Karen R Brandt, Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, Alan Baddeley, Mortimer Mishkin

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We report the performance in four recognition memory experiments of Jon, a young adult with early-onset developmental amnesia whose episodic memory is gravely impaired in tests of recall, but seems relatively preserved in tests of recognition, and who has developed normal levels of performance in tests of intelligence and general knowledge. Jon's recognition performance was enhanced by deeper levels of processing in comparing a more meaningful study task with a less meaningful one, but not by task enactment in comparing performance of an action with reading an action phrase. Both of these variables normally enhance episodic remembering, which Jon claimed to experience. But Jon was unable to support that claim by recollecting what it was that he remembered. Taken altogether, the findings strongly imply that Jon's recognition performance entailed little genuine episodic remembering and that the levels-of-processing effects in Jon reflected semantic, not episodic, memory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-48
Number of pages19
JournalCognitive Neuropsychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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