Frontal lobes and memory disorder. Motoichiro KATO 1 , Haruo KASHIMA 1 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, School of Medicine, Keio University pp.139-154
Published Date 1993/2/10
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1431900316
  • Abstract
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 There are two major domains in the neuropsychological investigations of the relationship between the frontal lobe and memory functions.

 The first domain is involved in memory disorder which appears in the circumscribed lesions of frontal lobes. It has been suggested that memory functions per se are not disturbed after frontal lobe damage. From this point of view, the poor performances on memory tests in the patients with frontal lesions are secondary to disturbances of information processing, such as executive dysfunction, problem solving disorder, disinhibition, and interference, which are directly caused by frontal lesions (Barbizet, 1971; Luria, 1976; Stuss and Benson, 1986; Handa, 1989). Some studies, however, have emphasized that the frontal lobes play the primary role on the poor results of some memory tasks such as delayed response, conditioned associative learning, and temporal discrimination task (Jacobsen, 1935; Petrides, 1989; Milner, 1971; Schacter, 1987). In particular, Milner (1991) supported that the left-lateral fron-tal cortex had a functional role in verbal recency judgments. However, Handa (1989) and Handa & Kashima (1989) gave a critical report to this hypothesis by devising a new task which were similar to the Milner's recency test in test structure, but which did not request to discriminate the temporal order but required to judge the difference of locations of two stimuli. They showed that the patients with frontal lesions also had a significant poor performance than controls on this task as well as on the recency discrimination task. Schacter (1989) emphasized that encoding of spatiotemporal information in humans can be accomplished relatively automatically and insisted that frontal amnesia should not be viewed as nonspecific effects which result from general failures of motivation or strategic processing. The problem of the primary role of frontal lobes on memory functions is still controversial and remains unsolved. However, it is suggested that the memory tasks on which the patients with frontal lesions have poor performances are characterized by stimuli being given in the sequential manner.

Copyright © 1993, Igaku-Shoin Ltd. All rights reserved.


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