Table of Contents
Epilepsy Research and Treatment
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6746938, 11 pages
Research Article

Assessing a Metacognitive Account of Associative Memory Impairments in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

1Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Department of Clinical Psychology, St James’ University Hospital, Leeds, UK
3Laboratoire de Psychologie et Neurocognition (CNRS 5105), Université Grenoble Alpes, 38040 Grenoble, France
4Department of Psychology, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK

Received 26 April 2016; Revised 15 July 2016; Accepted 1 August 2016

Academic Editor: József Janszky

Copyright © 2016 Nathan A. Illman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous research has pointed to a deficit in associative recognition in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Associative recognition tasks require discrimination between various combinations of words which have and have not been seen previously (such as old-old or old-new pairs). People with TLE tend to respond to rearranged old-old pairs as if they are “intact” old-old pairs, which has been interpreted as a failure to use a recollection strategy to overcome the familiarity of two recombined words into a new pairing. We examined this specific deficit in the context of metacognition, using postdecision confidence judgements at test. We expected that TLE patients would show inappropriate levels of confidence for associative recognition. Although TLE patients reported lower confidence levels in their responses overall, they were sensitive to the difficulty of varying pair types in their judgements and gave significantly higher confidence ratings for their correct answers. We conclude that a strategic deficit is not at play in the associative recognition of people with TLE, insofar as they are able to monitor the status of their memory system. This adds to a growing body of research suggesting that recollection is impaired in TLE, but not metacognition.