Amnesic H.M. exhibits parallel deficits and sparing in language and memory: Systems versus binding theory accounts

  title={Amnesic H.M. exhibits parallel deficits and sparing in language and memory: Systems versus binding theory accounts},
  author={Donald G. MacKay and Lori E James and Jennifer K. Taylor and Diane E. Marian},
  journal={Language and Cognitive Processes},
  pages={377 - 452}
This study examines sentence-level language abilities of amnesic H.M. to test competing theoretical conceptions of relations between language and memory. We present 11 new sources of experimental evidence indicating deficits in H.M's comprehension and production of non-cliché sentences. Contrary to recent claims that H.M.'s comprehension is unimpaired at grammatical levels, H.M. performed 2–6 standard deviations worse than controls matched for age, IQ and education in seven tasks: detecting… 
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H.M.'s Language Production Deficits: Implications for Relations between Memory, Semantic Binding, and the Hippocampal System ☆ ☆☆ ★
Present results contradict stages of processing theories that localize H.M.M.'s deficit to a storage stage that is independent of processes for retrieving and producing verbal materials, and instead support a distributed-memory theory in which memory storage and retrieval involving verbal materials are inherent aspects of normal language production.
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The results bear on two general classes of theories in use within a wide range of neurosciences and cognitive sciences: the data favor fidistributed-memory theoriesfl that ascribe H.M.'s deficit to semantic-level binding processes that are inherent to both language comprehension and memory, over fistages-of-processing theories, where H.m.'s defective storage processes have no effect on language comprehension.
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In this case study, a "hippocampal amnesic" (H.M.) and memory-normal controls of similar age, background, intelligence, and education read novel sentences aloud in tasks where fast and accurate
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A theory of aging and long-term retrograde amnesia that extends to word retrieval, including the seemingly simple retrieval task of reading isolated words, indicates that “hippocampal amnesic” H.M. exhibited little or no retrieval deficit relative to memory-normal controls in reading short, moderately high frequency words at ages 60 or 71.
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