One hundred and twelve patients with left (n=65) or right (n=47) temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), associated with mesial or lateral temporal lobe lesion, were compared to 53 patients with left (n=30) or right (n=23) frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE), in order to explore the contributions of hippocampal lesions and of memory deficits to sorting impairment. Thirty-six healthy subjects of similar age and education were controls. The Modified Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (MWCST) was used to explore sorting ability. The two-syllable word span and consistent long-term retrieval from the selective reminding procedure for word-list learning were used to evaluate memory. Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices and Attentive Matrices served to control for abstract reasoning and attention. Left FLE patients and TLE patients with left hippocampal sclerosis were significantly impaired on MWCST, short-term memory, and word learning. TLE patients with other left hippocampal lesions were also impaired on MWCST, although not significantly so. Analysis of individual scores showed that 42% of TLE patients with left hippocampal sclerosis, 14% of TLE patients with other hippocampal lesions, 63% of left FLE patients, and 30% of right FLE patients were impaired on the MWCST. In patients with left hippocampal sclerosis, MWCST score was associated with the learning score provided by the selective reminding procedure and Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices score, whereas in FLE patients, MWCST score was associated with Attentive Matrices score. These results suggest that only some TLE patients, i.e. those with hippocampal damage, may be expected to be impaired on card sorting. The impaired sorting ability of these TLE patients may be due to involvement of the hippocampal function in forming associations or in registering new information.
- Association forming
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology