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Flashcards in Eugene Pauly Deck (15):

Who studied eugene?

1992 Larry Squire and his team


What was 70 y old eugene diagnosed with?

viral encephalitis


describe his recovery

physical recovery was amazing,
but his cognitive impairment was very significant.


Describe damage to his brain

large lesions on his medial temporal lobe, the part of the brain responsible for the formation of long-term memory. 

amygdala and the hippocampus == completely destroyed.


Describe his behaviour

>> couldn't remember the day of the week, the names of nurses or doctors or friends. 

>> had trouble following a conversation but could talk about topics that interested him.

>> would repeat the same story or comment several times in a single afternoon.

>> often forget what he had already done e.g he would eat breakfast several times in a single day.

Although he could not form new declarative memories, he could recall and discuss most of the events of his life that happened prior to 1960. - three decades earlier.

he was still socially functional.


Describe one of the interviews the team had with eugene

he asked EP to draw a map of his home. 
He was not able to do it.
However, EP excused himself and got up to go to the toilet.

When sitting in the living room, he could not identify which door led to the kitchen. 
But if Squire asked him to get him something to eat, he immediately got up and headed for the kitchen.


What does the case study do and why?

triangulates in order to establish the credibility of the findings


What were the different methods used?

>>> Interviews with EP and his family; for example, EP was unable to describe how he would travel from his home to locations in his neighbourhood that he visits with his wife

>>> Psychometric testing: for example, IQ testing - which proved no impairment of intelligence.

>>> Observational studies - watching how EP solved problems or behaved on memory tasks.  For example, EP could not remember a string of numbers

>>> MRI: found that the anterior temporal lobe was the most damaged - including the amygdala and hippocampus.


What was an important test performed and the results?

Autobiographical Memory Interview. 

== is a structured interview that asks for detailed information about three periods of life:
1) childhood, (normally- almost as high as control scores)
2) early adult life, (better- below control scores)
3) recent life (extremely poor)

Within each of these periods EP’s memory was tested for both :

personal semantic knowledge (e.g., What was your home address while attending high school?) and

autobiographical memory (e.g., Describe an incident that occurred while you were attending elementary school).

The accuracy of all his responses was verified by at least two family members.


Describe the experiment in which Squire took 16 different objects and glued them on cardboard rectangles.

He then organized the objects in 8 pairs.

On the bottom of one of the objects in each pair was written the word "correct." 

EP had to choose between the two with the goal that with rehearsal, he would be able to consistently choose the "correct" object.

he couldn't remember which objects were correct.
experiment was repeated twice a week for months.
On each day that the experiment was repeated, there were 40 pairings.

The findings:
After 28 days he was choosing the correct object 85% of the time;
after 36 days he was right 95% of the time. He would even turn the objects over on his own, even though he didn't remember that there would be a sticker there, as he could not recall ever doing the task.

Squire wanted to see if this was true learning - that is, that Pauly actually remembered the objects, or whether there was something else happening.

He then asked EP to put all the "correct" objects in a pile.  He was unable to do so.  He could only select the correct object from the consistent pairings.


What is the role of the basal ganglia

Formation of procedural memories


When does a task become a habit

Over time, the task is no longer cognitive, but what is referred to as an associative task.

But chunking together a series of movements or behaviours, the task becomes automatic. (habits)


What did an MRI show abt his brain and what does this explain?

MRI indicated that EP's basal ganglia were undamaged.

explains why EP could find the kitchen and the bathroom. 
explains why he was able to make breakfast and other tasks that were “routine."
It also explains another phenomenon which EP's wife reported::
>> EP was able to take a walk around the block by himself, since his wife had taken him on a daily walk around the block after his surgery. But if there was an obstacle the task becomes cognitive again so then he gets lost


Why didnt eugene have the capacity to solve a problem?

his memory was only procedural


Conclusions drawn from this case study

shows us that memory is more complex than initially believed

the creation of memories is not solely dependent on the hippocampus. 
>> Even with hippocampal damage, tasks may be learned - even though the individual may not remember learning the task.

However, the research also showed that habits need to be triggered.  (A cue leads to a routine)
>> When EP was cued to play the object identification game, the routine was triggered, telling the brain to go into automatic mode.