Hippocampal contributions to discourse processing: Findings from Amnesia

<div> <div> <div> <div> <p>Brown-Schmidt, S., Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2014, March). Hippocampal contributions to discourse processing: Findings from amnesia.<i>Poster presentation at the 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing</i>, Columbia, SC.</p><p>What is the contribution of the hippocampal dependent declarative memory system to on-line processing of reference in discourse? </p> <p>WELL ESTABLISHED are the contributions of hippocampus to the formation of new enduring (long-term) memories (Ranganath, 2010; Squire, 1992), and its contributions to relational binding and representational flexibility (Eichenbaum & Cohen, 2001). </p> <p>EMERGING RESEARCH shows that hippocampus additionally contributes to on-line processing, even across minimal delays. Evidence from hippocampal imaging in healthy participants, and behavioral evidence from patients with bilateral hippocampal damage show: </p> <p>- Activation of hippocampus in healthy participants for relational learning over short delays (Hannula & Ranganath, 2008), and during retrieval of items from working memory (Öztekin, McElree, Staresina, & Davachi, 2008). </p> <p>- Degradation of relational representations in patients with bilateral hippocampal lesions over short delays (Hannula, Tranel, & Cohen, 2006) and in the processing of simple stimuli over short delays (Warren, et al. 2010). </p> <p>THE PRESENT RESEARCH examines contributions of hippocampus to discourse: </p> <p>- Our initial findings (Kurczek, Brown-Schmidt, & Duff, 2013) revealed profound deficits in ability of hippocampal amnesic participants to recruit discourse information from one sentence to resolve a pronoun in the subsequent sentence: </p> <p>Mickey is playing the violin for Donald as the sun is shining overhead. He is wearing a yellow bracelet... </p> <ul> <li> <p>-  Modeled after previous research with healthy participants (Arnold, et al., 2000), we found that unlike healthy matched comparison participants, patients with hippocampal amnesia did not show a significant preference to interpret the pronoun as referring to the 1st- mentioned referent. </p> </li> <li> <p>-  HereweaskwhetherthediscourserepresentationisENTIRELYLOSTinamnesia, or whether it is present, but WEAKENED. </p> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div>