Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
The aims of this study were to investigate whether patients with developmental amnesia (DA) associated with bilateral hippocampal volume reduction show an impairment in incidental nonverbal recall of action sequences, and whether the severity of this memory impairment is influenced by the sequence structure (causal vs. arbitrary). Like adult-onset cases of amnesia (McDonough, Mandler, McKee, & Squire, 1995), patients with DA did not differ significantly from their age-, sex-, and IQ-matched controls in spontaneous production of the sequences prior to modeling but recalled fewer target actions and action pairs than the control group after a 24-hour delay, independent of sequence structure. Unlike the patients with adult-onset amnesia, however, the patients with DA showed some memory for both types of sequences after a 24-hour delay. This difference in severity of memory impairment might reflect differences in extent of pathology and/or age at injury.