Developmental Amnesia: Memory Formation in the Absence of Remembering

Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, University College London

Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, University College London

Faraneh Vargha-Khadem, PhD Abstract & Learning Objectives: Developmental Amnesia, a disorder resulting from early bilateral damage to the hippocampus, is characterized by four dissociations in memory processes, viz: severe impairment of episodic and autobiographical memory, spatial navigation, recall, and recollection, in the presence of spared semantic memory, perception, recognition and familiarity. This lecture will (a) review the history of cognitive memory research in adults and children, (b) examine the evidence for the neural circuits serving different components of memory processes, (c) relate the findings in humans to results of lesion studies in non-human primates, and (d) provide preliminary evidence on new methods of learning and memory retrieval in patients with developmental amnesia. The lecture aims to differentiate between neural systems that support the development of intelligence and knowledge acquisition versus memory and learning. As a result of attending this lecture, the audience will learn how to (1) diagnose the syndrome of developmental amnesia in children and adolescents, (2) use neuroimaging evidence to determine which components of cognitive processes are compromised, and (3) become familiar with translational research techniques for learning new information in the presence of early damage to the hippocampus. Speaker Biography: Faraneh Vargha-Khadem is a Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, and Head of Section on Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychiatry at the UCL Institute of Child Health. She is also the Clinical-Academic Lead for Neuropsychology at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, and the founding Director of the UCL Centre for Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (CDCN). The CDCN aims to promote cross faculty and cross disciplinary collaboration to promote a life span approach to clinical translational research. Faraneh conducts research on the effects of brain injury on neural circuits serving memory and learning, speech and language, spatial navigation, and movement organization. Faraneh is the Principal Investigator of two consecutive programme grants from the Medical Research Council. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and has received a number of national and international awards including the Distinguished Career Award of the International Neuropsychological Society, the Barbara Wilson Award of the British Neuropsychological Society, and the Jean Louis Signoret Prize for her contributions to understanding the genetics of behaviour. ins2017