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May 1966

Amnesia and Eye Movements in First Stage Anesthesia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesiology and the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, School of Medicine, New York University, New York.

Arch Neurol. 1966;14(5):522-525. doi:10.1001/archneur.1966.00470110066008

CORRELATION of lack of parallel eye centering with amnesia for on-going events under first stage anesthesia has been noted in the operating and recovery rooms during the past three years. Of particular interest is the observation that, despite amnesia, patients in this plane of anesthesia could give personal information, were oriented, could perform arithmetical manipulations and complicated motor acts, as well as demonstrate intactness of remote memory. With return of eye centering, recording of events which may be retrieved is resumed. We have documented this phenomenon and related it to other information concerning memory fixation in animals and in man.

In studies of recent memory loss in man, attention has been drawn to the hippocampalfornix-mamillary system on the basis of clinical pathologic correlations in Wernicke's syndrome and in bilateral hippocampal infarctions, as reported by Victor et al.1 Scoville and Milner2 described a marked deficit in recent memory

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