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Anatomy of the episodic buffer: a voxel-based morphometry study in patients with dementia


Berlingeri, M; Bottini, G; Basilico, S; Silani, G; Zanardi, G; Sberna, M; Colombo, N; Sterzi, R; Scialfa, G; Paulesu, E (2008). Anatomy of the episodic buffer: a voxel-based morphometry study in patients with dementia. Behavioural neurology, 19(1-2):29-34.

Abstract

In 2000 Baddeley proposed the existence of a new component of working memory, the episodic buffer, which should contribute to the on-line maintenance of integrated memory traces. The author assumed that this component should be critical for immediate recall of a short story that exceeds the capacity of the phonological store. Accordingly, patients with Alzheimer's dementia (AD) should suffer of a deficit of the episodic buffer when immediate recall of a short story is impossible. On the other hand, the episodic buffer should be somewhat preserved in such patients when some IR can occur (Baddeley and Wilson, 2002).

We adopted this logic for a voxel-based morphometry study. We compared the distribution of grey-matter density of two such groups of AD patients with and of a group of age-matched controls. We found that both AD groups had a significant atrophy of the left mid-hippocampus; on the other hand, the anterior part of the hippocampus was significantly more atrophic in patients who were also impaired on the immediate prose recall task. Six out of ten patients with no immediate recall were spared at "central executive" tasks. Taken together our findings suggest that the left anterior hippocampus contributes to the episodic buffer of the revised working memory model. We also suggest that the episodic buffer is somewhat independent from the central executive component of working memory.

In 2000 Baddeley proposed the existence of a new component of working memory, the episodic buffer, which should contribute to the on-line maintenance of integrated memory traces. The author assumed that this component should be critical for immediate recall of a short story that exceeds the capacity of the phonological store. Accordingly, patients with Alzheimer's dementia (AD) should suffer of a deficit of the episodic buffer when immediate recall of a short story is impossible. On the other hand, the episodic buffer should be somewhat preserved in such patients when some IR can occur (Baddeley and Wilson, 2002).

We adopted this logic for a voxel-based morphometry study. We compared the distribution of grey-matter density of two such groups of AD patients with and of a group of age-matched controls. We found that both AD groups had a significant atrophy of the left mid-hippocampus; on the other hand, the anterior part of the hippocampus was significantly more atrophic in patients who were also impaired on the immediate prose recall task. Six out of ten patients with no immediate recall were spared at "central executive" tasks. Taken together our findings suggest that the left anterior hippocampus contributes to the episodic buffer of the revised working memory model. We also suggest that the episodic buffer is somewhat independent from the central executive component of working memory.

Citations

18 citations in Web of Science®
22 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:02 Mar 2009 14:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:09
Publisher:IOS Press
ISSN:0953-4180
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1155/2008/828937
Official URL:http://iospress.metapress.com/content/0t57303631x0u358/?p=2470f254591a4f0197ad70386173f6be&pi=0
PubMed ID:18413913

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