Evidence of partial retrograde amnesia for episodic memories of no personal salience was found in head injured patients (n = 10) tested during posttraumatic amnesia or shortly after its resolution (n = 10), but there was no selective preservation of the earliest memories. In contrast, head injured patients tested during posttraumatic amnesia exhibited relatively preserved retention of early autobiographical memories which they recalled as accurately as oriented head injured patients. It is suggested that reminiscence of salient, early events increases their resistance to partial retrograde amnesia and contributes to the observed temporal gradient.
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