chapter  10
28 Pages

Accelerated long-term forgetting

ByCHRISTOPHER BUTLER, NILS MUHLERT, ADAM ZEMAN

The study of patients with neurological disease has contributed much to our understanding of human memory. Recently, a novel pattern of forgetting has been described, typically amongst patients with epilepsy, in which information may apparently be learnt and remembered normally at first, but is forgotten at an accelerated rate over subsequent days to weeks. This phenomenon, termed accelerated long-term forgetting (ALF), is clinically important and may provide insights into the mechanisms underlying memory consolidation. Work on ALF is still at an early stage. In this chapter, we introduce the concept with examples from the literature, discuss its clinical and theoretical implications, highlight some important methodological considerations regarding its investigation, and propose avenues for future research.