Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society

Research Article

Frontal lobe damage produces episodic memory impairment

Mark A. Wheelera1a2, Donald T. Stussa1a2a3 and Endel Tulvinga1a2

a1 Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre, Toronto, Ontario

a2 University of Toronto, Department of Psychology, Toronto, Ontario

a3 University of Toronto, Department of Medicine (Neurology), Toronto, Ontario


This article reports the outcome of a meta-analysis of the relation between the frontal lobes and memory as measured by tests of recognition, cued recall, and free recall. We reviewed experiments in which patients with documented, circumscribed frontal pathology were compared with normal control subjects on these three types of tests. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is strong evidence that frontal damage disrupts performance on all three types of tests, with the greatest impairment in free recall, and the smallest in recognition. (JINS, 1995, 1, 525–536.)

(Received December 28 1994)

(Accepted April 03 1995)


Reprints requests to: Mark A. Wheeler, Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre, 3560 Bathurst, North York, Ontario M6A 2E1, Canada.