Scientific article
Open access

Long-term memory consolidation of new words in children with self-limited epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes

Published inEpilepsy & behavior, vol. 153, 109720
Publication date2024-04
First online date2024-02-29

Accelerated long-term forgetting has been studied and demonstrated in adults with epilepsy. In contrast, the question of long-term consolidation (delays > 1 day) in children with epilepsy shows conflicting results. However, childhood is a period of life in which the encoding and long-term storage of new words is essential for the development of knowledge and learning. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate long-term memory consolidation skills in children with self-limited epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes (SeLECTS), using a paradigm exploring new words encoding skills and their long-term consolidation over one-week delay. As lexical knowledge, working memory skills and executive/attentional skills has been shown to contribute to long-term memory/new word learning, we added standardized measures of oral language and executive/attentional functions to explore the involvement of these cognitive skills in new word encoding and consolidation. The results showed that children with SeLECTS needed more repetitions to encode new words, struggled to encode the phonological forms of words, and when they finally reached the level of the typically developing children, they retained what they had learned, but didn't show improved recall skills after a one-week delay, unlike the control participants. Lexical knowledge, verbal working memory skills and phonological skills contributed to encoding and/or recall abilities, and interference sensitivity appeared to be associated with the number of phonological errors during the pseudoword encoding phase. These results are consistent with the functional model linking working memory, phonology and vocabulary in a fronto-temporo-parietal network. As SeLECTS involves perisylvian dysfunction, the associations between impaired sequence storage (phonological working memory), phonological representation storage and new word learning are not surprising. This dual impairment in both encoding and long-term consolidation may result in large learning gap between children with and without epilepsy. Whether these results indicate differences in the sleep-induced benefits required for long-term consolidation or differences in the benefits of retrieval practice between the epilepsy group and healthy children remains open. As lexical development is associated with academic achievement and comprehension, the impact of such deficits in learning new words is certainly detrimental.

  • Accelerated long-term forgetting
  • Epilepsy
  • Long-term memory consolidation
  • New word learning
  • Self-limited epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes
Citation (ISO format)
MAYOR, Claire, MOSER, Charlene, KORFF, Christian. Long-term memory consolidation of new words in children with self-limited epilepsy with centro-temporal spikes. In: Epilepsy & behavior, 2024, vol. 153, p. 109720. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2024.109720
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1525-5050

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