eISSN: 2084-9885
ISSN: 1896-6764
Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia/Neuropsychiatry and Neuropsychology
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vol. 5

Original article
Subjective evaluation of the own memory of patients with right or left hemisphere pathology

Ewa Małgorzata Szepietowska
Anna Kuzaka

Neuropsychiatria i Neuropsychologia 2010; 5, 2: 79–89
Online publish date: 2010/11/22
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The aim of the thesis : Unawareness of one’s own cognitive deficiencies (anosognosia) is a frequent symptom of dysfunction of the brain’s right hemisphere. There are no data concerning self-awareness of the own memory (metamemory) of patients with right hemisphere pathology in comparison with left hemisphere pathology patients. The analysis can be carried out thanks to JOL (judgment of learning) techniques. The aim of our research was to assess: the subjective evaluation of the level of word list reconstruction, the objective results made when recalling, and the similarity (agreement) of these two measures in the case of people with right versus left hemisphere dysfunction.
Material and methods : In the research there took part 25 neurologically healthy people and 23 people after ischaemic stroke of the right (n = 13) or the left (n = 10) hemisphere. During studies the Memory Effectiveness Assessment Questionnaire by Giovagnoli was used together with the Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale and the assignments of learning 10 words (6 trials) preceded by judgment of learning (JOL).
Results : It was found that the groups did not differ significantly in the general assessment of their memory, or when assessing the level of recalling, the level of reconstructions, and the level of depression. In each group there was a tendency to understate or to overstate one’s own memory abilities. The individual variables (age, years of education) in different ways affected the results of the people examined in each group.
Conclusions : In all the people examined (healthy ones and those with either left or right hemisphere pathology) similarity between predictions (JOL) and performance was observed. On this basis we may assume that the symptoms of anosognosia, frequent for patients with right hemisphere dysfunctions, do not have to affect all the aspects of the cognitive processes. The level of depression of the patients who suffered from stroke of the left or right hemisphere and of the healthy people did not correlate with the results of memory activities. The obtained data are analysed with reference to the phenomena of unawareness and metamemory.

self-awareness, anosognosia, metamemory, judgment of learning (JOL)

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