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Title: Accelerated long-term forgetting in temporal lobe epilepsy : test development, a group comparison and case series analysis
Author: Elliott, Gemma
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 5584
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis examines accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF) in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). ALF refers to abnormal forgetting over hours to weeks in the absence of problems with acquisition or initial consolidation of memories. Currently ALF may go undetected since standardised assessments of memory only test at delays of up to 30- minutes. Since patients affected by ALF can experience considerable distress, the development of appropriate tests is essential to enable clinicians to assess this pattern of forgetting and understand whether it represents a distinct phenomenon. Existing results regarding ALF are inconclusive and this may be due to methodological problems. A literature review summaries the methodological issues associated with assessing forgetting rates and evaluates whether existing studies have considered key issues. It is concluded that future studies would benefit from employing more rigorous methodology which includes both verbal and visual tests combining recall and recognition paradigms. It is also recommended that groups are well matched for age and IQ, initial learning is equated, ceiling and floor effects are avoided, rehearsal is minimised and immediate delays are long enough to ensure information has been stored in long-term memory. A research study is then reported which combines individual and group analysis to examine the existence of ALF in TLE using specifically developed tests. Results demonstrate that when assessed using improved methodology, some people with TLE show ALF, some show forgetting over short delays and some have intact memory. It is concluded that there is considerable individual variation in the forgetting profiles of people with TLE highlighting that the reasons for this should be the focus of future research.
Supervisor: Isaac, Claire Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available