Autobiographical memory in epileptic patients after temporal lobe resection or bitemporal hippocampal sclerosis

Júlia Miró, Pablo Ripollés, Joanna Sierpowska, Mila Santurino, Montserrat Juncadella, Mercè Falip, Antoni Rodríguez-Fornells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human hippocampus is believed to be a crucial node in the neural network supporting autobiographical memory retrieval. Structural mesial temporal damage associated with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) provides an opportunity to systematically investigate and better understand the local and distal functional consequences of mesial temporal damage in the engagement of the autobiographical memory network. We examined 19 TLE patients (49.21 ± 11.55 years; 12 females) with unilateral mesial TLE (MTLE; 12 with anterior temporal lobe resection: 6 right MTLE, 6 left MTLE) or bilateral mesial TLE (7 BMTLE) and 18 matched healthy subjects. We used functional MRI (fMRI) with an adapted autobiographical memory paradigm and a specific neuropsychological test (Autobiographical Memory Interview, AMI). While engaged in the fMRI autobiographical memory paradigm, all groups activated a large fronto-temporo-parietal network. However, while this network was left lateralized for healthy participants and right MTLE patients, left MTLE and patients with BMTLE also showed strong activation in right temporal and frontal regions. Moreover, BMTLE and left MTLE patients also showed significant mild deficits in episodic autobiographical memory performance measured with the AMI test. The right temporal and extra-temporal fMRI activation, along with the impairment in autobiographical memory retrieval found in left MTLE and BMTLE patients suggest that alternate brain areas—other than the hippocampus—may also support this process, possibly due to neuroplastic effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1074-1088
Number of pages15
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Autobiographic network
  • Bitemporal epilepsy
  • Episodic memory
  • Functional MRI
  • Temporal epilepsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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