Binding deficits in visual short-term memory in patients with temporal lobe lobectomy.
Zokaei N., Nour MM., Sillence A., Drew D., Adcock J., Stacey R., Voets N., Sen A., Husain M.
Classical views of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) have established that it plays a crucial role in long-term memory (LTM) (e.g. Scoville and Milner, 1957). Here we demonstrate, in a sample of patients who have undergone anterior temporal lobectomy for the treatment of epilepsy, that the MTL additionally plays a specific, causal role in short-term memory (STM). Patients and healthy control participants performed a STM task with a sensitive continuous report measure. This paradigm allowed us to examine recall memory for object identity, location and object-location binding, independently on a trial-by-trial basis. The results point to a specific involvement of MTL in object-location binding, but, crucially, not retention of either object identity or location. These findings are consistent with results from investigations that have identified a role for the MTL in relational binding for LTM, supporting the proposal that MTL regions perform such a function for both STM and LTM (Esfahani-Bayerl et al., 2016a; Olson et al., 2006a, 2011; van Geldorp et al., 2014; Yonelinas, 2013). The methodology employed here may provide a simple, sensitive and clinically valuable means to test memory dysfunuction in MTL disorders. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.