OBJECTIVE: Amnesia for temporal relations may occur without amnesia for content memories. The aim was to determine whether a patient with mild memory loss due to a thalamic lesion had amnesia for temporal relations, and whether the amnesia was specific for particular material. METHODS: A male patient had an isolated right dorsomedial thalamic infarct and resolving amnesia. He was tested on tasks relating to content (what) and temporal (when) memories for both verbal and non-verbal material, three and seven months after his infarct. RESULTS: Three months after his infarct, the man had amnesia for temporal, but not content memories using non-verbal stimuli, and normal performance using verbal stimuli. Seven months after his infarct, he had a normal performance using verbal and non-verbal stimuli. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with thalamic lesions may have a material specific amnesia for temporal relations in the absence of amnesia for content.
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