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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

January 1997, Vol. 9, No. 1, Pages 143-159
(doi: 10.1162/jocn.1997.9.1.143)
© 1997 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Memory Encoding Following Complete Callosotomy
Article PDF (1.6 MB)

Three patients with complete resection of the corpus callosum were tested in a series of memory tasks to determine the effects of callosotomy on the encoding and retrieval of information in memory. Verbal and pictorial conjunction tests were administered to measure patients' ability to consolidate the elements of a stimulus into an accurate composite memory. Patients were also tested in a paired-associate learning task to determine the consequences of callosotomy on the encoding and retrieval of associations between stimuli. Although callosotomy patients were unimpaired in the verbal conjunction task, results from both the pictorial conjunction task and the paired-associate learning task suggest that the absence of callosal cross-talk impairs encoding in these patients. In addition, the pattern of results in the paired-associate learning task suggests that callosotomy impairs retrieval processes. The role of the callosum in the formation of memory traces for nonverbal material and associations between verbal stimuli is discussed.