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The Hippocampus and Delayed Recall: Bigger is not Necessarily Better?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • Jonathan K. Foster
  • Andrew Meikle
  • Gregory Goodson
  • Andrew R. Mayes
  • Matthew Howard
  • Sandra I. Sunram
  • Enis Cezayirilli
  • Neil Roberts
Journal publication date1999
JournalMemory
Journal number5/6
Volume7
Number of pages18
Pages715-732
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Healthy young female participants were tested on a measure of delayed verbal recall and then received volumetric Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. The analysis of the MRI scans focused on the volume of the hippocampus. Left hippocampal volume was negatively associated with the level of delayed verbal recall performance. This relationshipwas confirmed in further testing. This finding is consistent with a previous report of a similar relationship in healthy elderly individuals, but not in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, in whom the opposite relationship was observed. An explanation of these findings in terms of impaired neural pruning of the hippocampus is advanced, whereby insufficient pruning of the hippocampus during childhood and adolescence (following adequate growth) may lead to reduced mnemonic efficiency.