Case Study of Visual Memory Loss and Autobiographical Amnesia
It is believed that various regions of the Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL) are majorly involved for the coordination activations in disparate parts of the cortex, and these activations help in the information representation for the Autobiographic Memories (AM). Hence, any type of physical damage to the MTL would cause difficulty in the retrieval of AM.
Patient M.S. suffered from long-term visual memory loss along with some semantic deficits, he also exhibited severe retrograde (inability of retrieving previous memories) amnesia and moderate anterograde amnesia (inability of making future memories). Also, one unusual thing about this case was that the type of amnesia from which M.S. was suffering wasn’t similar to any of the known types of amnesia, i.e. typical medial-temporal or lateral-temporal amnesia, rather it is strongly suggested that his visual deficits contributed majorly to his autobiographic amnesia.
Also, I’ve attempted to explain the case of M.S. by using the integrated memory model by Baddely (1974).
Now, here our main focus would be to study in detail the case of M.S., one of the 11 patients who were previously identified as having VMDA (visual memory deficit amnesia). As I’ve mentioned earlier, this type of amnesia is different from the normal types of amnesia. First of all, multiple attempts were made to determine the type of amnesia he was suffering from and to prove the consistency of visual deficits with VMDA, thereby examining the role of visual imagery and visual regions in AM (autobiographic memory).
The MTL and diencephalon coordinate to activate various parts of the cortex which help to recollect information about a particular memory. MTL trauma tends to cause profound, ungraded anterograde amnesia (AA). Retrograde amnesia (RA) is often temporally graded; older retrograde memories are more likely to be spared than newer retrograde memories (Squire,1992).
Farah in 1984 suggested that patients with particular visual imagery impairment, specifically an impairment of long-term visual memory, would meet any of the following three criteria. First, the patient would be able to copy line drawings, thereby showing that other deficits are not caused by basic perceptual problems. Second, the patient would be unable to recognize objects by sight, defined as an inability to indicate either their names or their functions. Third, the patient would be unable to draw objects from memory, describe their visual properties from memory, or detect a visual image of them upon introspection. The first two criteria identify the patient as an associative visual agnostic; the third criterion demonstrates that the deficit arises from impaired access to long-term visual memory rather than difficulty generating or manipulating images. Patients who meet the third criterion but not the first two—those who cannot draw from memory but are not agnostic—have intact recognition memory for visual stimuli. Thus, patients only have a long-term memory deficit if they meet all three criteria.
Let us now discuss the details of the case study, but first, let us go through a small character sketch of the patient M.S. was tested regularly since 1971. He is a left-handed Caucasian male with no family history of sinistrality. In 1970, while a 23-year-old police cadet, he suffered a febrile illness with frontal headache and vomiting. He was diagnosed with probable herpes encephalitis; antibody tests were negative, but MRIs taken in 1989 are inconsistent with a vascular etiology. M.S. now presents with left homonymous hemianopia, but his visual acuity is normal (6/6, N5 for near vision). He also has achromatopsia, associative visual amnesia, and amnesia. His linguistic skills are generally excellent, and he has no significant aphasic symptoms; he reads a newspaper and often completes the crossword. M.S. used to tell the same stories repeatedly, probably because he used to forget the fact that he has already told them before.
Now, I’ll like to discuss the various tests that were performed on the patient M.S. and whose conclusions were then summed up:-
Now, let us use one of the three memory models discussed in the class to approximately explain the above case. In my opinion, the Integrated Memory Model best explains this case, a memory model given by Alan Baddeley and Hitch in 1974.
We can undoubtedly conclude that the perception of M.S. was absolutely fine (by his visual imagery test, point no. 2), but he wasn’t able to recall things properly, even when questioned immediately. According to the above memory model, visual information is fetched to the episodic buffer via the visuospatial sketchpad, and it is this process that is getting obstructed.
Working memory tasks with visual objects have activations taking place mostly in the left hemisphere, whereas tasks with spatial information activate more areas in the right hemisphere.
The visuospatial sketchpad is one of the major components of the working memory model.
We can easily see from the above flow chart that there must be some kind of obstruction in the information processing from the episodic buffer to the long-term memory which accounts for the struggle experienced by M.S. while recalling his own rhinoceros drawing, instead thinking of it as that of a dog.
M.S. almost failed the object recognition tests, in which he was supposed to recognize some commonly used objects in routine life, indicating that the semantic portion of his brain was damaged by the trauma. The episodic buffer is assumed by Baddeley to have long links to long-term memory and semantic meaning, which is clearly affected here.
Also, it goes without saying now that his autobiographical memory component was deeply affected (Conclusion from the AM Interview). The integrated working memory model displays how the modularity of the brain both at the perception level and at the retrieval, it also clearly explains how damages to these areas will affect the processes involved with the same.
I’ve earlier mentioned in the text that is model is only an approximation and there are some aspects where this model might not that accurately explain the above case. Like using the episodic buffer theory to explain the semantic deficit wasn’t that good, instead, I would like to use the levels of processing model as it says that retaining facts (semantics) is much easier when the brain has some visual info as the background.
Also, how the central executive memory exactly works is still left to be deciphered as there isn’t any proper experimental evidence for it.
M.S could reproduce some of the drawings on immediate recall and none on delayed recall.
This effect wasn’t explained properly by the working model memory as it is implicitly assumed in this model that the processing ability of an individual is invariant of time, which isn’t the case practically.
So from the above case study, we can conclude that the patient M.S. was suffering from a very peculiar case of visual memory loss and autobiographical amnesia, a not-so-common type of amnesia. We’ve above attempted to explain this case using the Working Memory Model by Baddeley and Hitch. Also, a brief discussion is considered over the aspects where this model fails to explain the case properly. There is one very important learning from this case that people who suffer from strokes have a chance of developing cognitive deficits that result in anterograde amnesia, since strokes can involve the temporal lobe in the temporal cortex, and the temporal cortex houses the hippocampus. Discussing the criticism of the model used also conveys us an important fact about psychology no model of memory is perfect, there are failures in almost every model of memory, and our aim is to just minimize them!
In the end, we shall appreciate the patience and efforts made by patient M.S. during the course of the whole research, despite the fact that he would have forgotten his contributions!
From Hollywood to Bollywood, one can find one too many movies based on characters that have simply loss recall of their identity. In real life, amnesia doesn’t exactly cause one to diminish memory of their own self but, people who suffer from amnesia finds it difficult to recall specific details, places and facts (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2017). Lapses of memory occur in many of us in different ways: tip-of-the tongue phenomenon (a.k.a. blocking), absentmindedness, misattribution, interference, decay and transience are...
Long-term memory (LTM) can be broadly defined as a store of information that is held indefinitely, with a near-limitless capacity (Cowan, 2008); this is estimated to be around 2.5 petabytes on average (Reber, 2010). LTM can be sub-divided into two main systems (Curran, 2014), one being declarative memory which stores information that requires conscious recollection, including episodic memories (EM), enabling us to remember events and experiences, and semantic memories (SM), which store our knowledge about the world (Tulving, 1993). In...
It goes without saying that the study of human memory has been well researched and studied for psychologists and neuroscientists for many years, needless to say, there have been several case studies with amnesic patients to help psychologists gain an insight into the understanding of short- and long-term memory. There have been several amnesic patients that have helped Psychologists and Neuroscientists understand to human memory and how certain parts of the brain are essential for short- and long-term memory. Memory...
Contribution of brain imaging to memory storage and retrieval Loss of memory is referred to as Amnesia. People suffering with amnesia, also called amnestic syndrome usually remember information themselves but have trouble learning new information and forming new memories. Amnesia can be caused due to damage in the area of the brain responsible for memory process and storage. Unlike temporary memory loss, amnesia can be permanent. Features of amnesia There are two main features of amnesia. They are, Anterograde amnesia...
Abstract There are three types of dissociative disorders dissociative amnesia, depersonalization-derealization disorder, and dissociative identity disorder, all three have similar symptoms of feeling disconnected from reality however each disorder has very complex problems that make the person suffering from it have trouble in everyday interactions and can ruin someone’s life if they don’t get the help they need. The main points of this research paper will be on the main three disorders, what causes them and what the brain goes...
General Psychology Module Five Reflection Human behavior is often followed by a pleasant or unpleasant outcome. When behaviors are followed by a desirable outcome, the behaviors are likely to be repeated. When behaviors are followed by an unpleasant outcome, they are less likely to occur (King, 2019). These pleasant and unpleasant outcomes are called reinforcements. Reinforcement is the process by which a stimulus or event (a reinforcer) following a particular behavior increases the probability that the behavior will happen again...
Mental Illness has for a long time had a stigma about it, in not only real life but how it is portrayed on screen. Finding Dory is a movie that gives us a glimpse into what it is like for people who suffer from anterograde amnesia, the daily struggles and emotions that are felt. We get to see the growth of the character from childhood to adult and how the disorder affected her along the way. This story has a...
Imagine being able to heal for free, with no help from medications. It sounds crazy but it’s possible. It can be accomplished by incorporating the practice of mindfulness into our everyday lives. Mindfulness is essentially the practice of consciously focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment (Harvard Health Publishing, 2019). The practice of mindfulness in everyday life can stimulate the healing process. Every individual has the natural capacity to heal on their own. Mindfulness healing...
Phenomenal vision is the sight of “colors, brightness, depth, shades, and motion”, generated by light distributed on the retina (Stoerig, 2001). Undeniably, there are phenomenally unconscious visual mechanisms occurring within an individual’s retinal processes and occipital lobe activity does not correlate with visual awareness. Research into the study of vision and whether the phenomenal vision is mandatory to be aware of visual stimuli has extensively been researched in blindsight patients (Brogaard, 2011). Specifically, striate damage results in profound homonymous loss,...
01 / 09
Fair Use Policy
EduBirdie considers academic integrity to be the essential part of the learning process and does not support any violation of the academic standards. Should you have any questions regarding our Fair Use Policy or become aware of any violations, please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here 24/7 to write your paper in as fast as 3 hours.