Amnesia and second language learning

William Hirst, Elizabeth A. Phelps, Marcia K. Johnson, Bruce T. Volpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ability of an anterograde amnesic C.S. to learn a second language is assessed. First, her claim that she learned Italian while amnesic was examined in a series of formal tests of Italian. Second, C.S. and her husband were tutored in French and her acquisition was compared to that of her husband's. Third, C.S.'s ability to learn other kinds of verbal material with practice was investigated. The implications of C.S.'s apparent ability to learn a second language in the presence of a severe deficit for memory for other kinds of verbal material is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-116
Number of pages12
JournalBrain and cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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