Focal Lesions of Human Hippocampal CA1 Neurons in Transient Global Amnesia Impair Place Memory

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Science  11 Jun 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5984, pp. 1412-1415
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188160

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A critical role in place learning has been attributed to place cells within the cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) sector of the hippocampus in rodents. The role of CA1 cells in the human hippocampus with regard to place learning remains elusive. Using a virtual Morris water maze, we investigated patients with acute transient global amnesia (TGA), a rare self-limiting dysfunction of the hippocampal system. Fourteen individuals with selective and focal lesions in the CA1 sector of the hippocampus showed a profound impairment in place learning. The size of the lesions and the duration of the TGA correlated with the deficit in the performance.

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