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The exact neural mechanism of sequence learning and recognition memory is unknown. Studying voltage-gated potassium
channel limbic encephalitis (VGKC-LE) patients with artificial grammar language (AGL) can provide insights to this
gap of knowledge due to their focal damage to the CA3 of the hippocampus. This study recruited three subject groups: nine
healthy participants aged 20???40 years old, 19 healthy participants aged 50???80 years old and three VGKC-LE patients. An
AGL paradigm was designed to measure learning of increasing rule complexity was exposed to participants. AGL learning
was tested with two tasks: recollection task, where participants recalled the sequences they heard and familiarity task, where
participants judged whether the sequences followed the rules or not. Patients showed AGL learning as well as controls on
initial familiarity task (p-values: 0.068, 0.297 and 0.140 for patient 1, 2 and 3, respectively). However, patients have impaired
recollection compared to controls (p-values: 0.034, <0.001 and <0.001 for patient 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Furthermore,
healthy participants showed improvement in performance on both tasks after re-exposure, but patients did not. VGKC-LE
patients showed initial AGL learning ability, thus the CA3 may not be involved in sequence learning. However, patients did
not improve their performance with repeated trials, which may indicate inability to adjust their learning strategy. Also, VGKCLE
patients had lower performance than control on recollection task. This suggests that the hippocampus is not involved in
familiarity, but responsible for recollection.
Salma Kyana Sukatrilaksana is an master in research graduate from Newcastle University with a Degree in Evolution and Human Behaviour. She is currenly a fourth year medical student in Universitas Indonesia.