Mesial temporal spikes interfere with working memory

Gregory L. Krauss, Michael Summerfield, Jason Brandt, Steven Breiter, Daniel Ruchkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The hippocampus and other mesial temporal structures support long-term memory and also are common foci for epilepsy. Recently it was shown that these brain structures may subserve the short-term storage and rehearsal process called working memory in humans. We determined the accuracy of verbal and visuospatial working memory in the presence and in the absence of mesial temporal spikes in eight patients who had bilateral depth electrodes implanted to evaluate intractable epilepsy. Six of eight patients had declines in working memory performance during mesial temporal spiking, with the greatest disruption in spatial and verbal recall coincident with the left hippocampal spikes patients (p = 0.019). Overall accuracy of working for all patients declined an average of 6% on spike trials. The two patients who did not have decreased accuracy during spike trials also had the best overall working memory performance. Mesial temporal spikes were not detected on extracranial recordings and yet may be associated with declines in working memory in some patients with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-980
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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