March 1990

Neuropsychological Correlates of Bilateral Amygdala Damage

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Behavioral Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(3):349-355. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530030131029

• We conducted an extensive neuropsychological investigation in a patient with bilateral amygdala damage due to Urbach-Wiethe disease. The patient had significant defects in nonverbal visual memory, in social behavior, and in "executive control" functions, findings consistent with the proposal, based on experimental animal work, that the amygdala plays important roles in memory and in the modulation of social and emotional behavior. General intellect and language were normal. A psychophysiological study showed that she had normal electrodermal activity (skin conductance responses), an important finding in view of the role that has been attributed to the amygdala in the central control of autonomic responses.