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Poster E36

Focal Human Left Temporal Pole Damage Produces Emotional Amnesia

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Robin Hellerstedt1 (, Manuela Costa1, Rafael Toledano2, Antonio Gil-Nagel2, Christian Bien3, Philip Grewe3, Johanna Kissler4, Bryan Strange1,5; 1Laboratory for Clinical Neuroscience, Center for Biomedical Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, IdISSC, Madrid, Spain., 2Epilepsy Unit, Department of Neurology, Ruber International Hospital, Madrid, Spain., 3Department of Epileptology, Medical school, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany, 4Department of Psychology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany, 5Reina Sofia Centre for Alzheimer’s Research, Madrid, Spain

The temporal pole has traditionally been considered a hub for the semantic memory network, but is also involved in social and emotional processes. One challenge in studying the functional role of this structure is that conditions producing temporal pole lesions (e.g. semantic dementia) typically also affects other brain structures. In this study we included rare patients with focal temporal pole lesions and pharmaco-resistant epilepsy, while measuring the function of the amygdala with intracranial recordings. The patients studied lists of 14 words of which one was an emotionally negative oddball and one was a perceptual oddball (presented in a different font) and subsequently performed a free recall test. A control group of 15 pharmaco-resistant epilepsy patients without temporal pole lesions showed the expected increase in memory for both emotional and perceptual oddballs compared to control words. Interestingly, patients with lesions in the left temporal pole showed a selective decrease in memory for emotional oddballs relative to control words. This reduction was present in all 5 patients with left temporal pole lesions, but not in two patients with right temporal pole lesion. Analysis of intracranial EEG showed that a gamma salience response to both emotional and perceptual oddballs in the left amygdala was normal in these patients suggesting that the emotional memory deficit cannot simply be explained by disruption of the amygdala as a consequence of the left temporal pole lesion. Taken together the results suggest that the left temporal pole is involved in episodic emotional memory in the verbal domain.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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