Disentangling the cognitive components supporting Austin Maze performance in left versus right temporal lobe epilepsy

Hocking, Julia, Thomas, Hannah J., Dzafic, Ilvana, Williams, Rebecca J., Reutens, David C., & Spooner, Donna M. (2013) Disentangling the cognitive components supporting Austin Maze performance in left versus right temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy & Behavior, 29(3), pp. 485-491.

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Neuropsychological tests requiring patients to find a path through a maze can be used to assess visuospatial memory performance in temporal lobe pathology, particularly in the hippocampus. Alternatively, they have been used as a task sensitive to executive function in patients with frontal lobe damage. We measured performance on the Austin Maze in patients with unilateral left and right temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), with and without hippocampal sclerosis, compared to healthy controls. Performance was correlated with a number of other neuropsychological tests to identify the cognitive components that may be associated with poor Austin Maze performance. Patients with right TLE were significantly impaired on the Austin Maze task relative to patients with left TLE and controls, and error scores correlated with their performance on the Block Design task. The performance of patients with left TLE was also impaired relative to controls; however, errors correlated with performance on tests of executive function and delayed recall. The presence of hippocampal sclerosis did not have an impact on maze performance. A discriminant function analysis indicated that the Austin Maze alone correctly classified 73.5% of patients as having right TLE. In summary, impaired performance on the Austin Maze task is more suggestive of right than left TLE; however, impaired performance on this visuospatial task does not necessarily involve the hippocampus. The relationship of the Austin Maze task with other neuropsychological tests suggests that differential cognitive components may underlie performance decrements in right versus left TLE.

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ID Code: 74094
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Austin Maze, Memory, Cognition Disorders, Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe, Functional Laterality, Hippocampus, Neuropsychological Tests, Predictive Value of Tests
DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2013.08.020
ISSN: 1525-5069
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900) > Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases (110904)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Sensory Processes Perception and Performance (170112)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Deposited On: 18 Jul 2014 00:01
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2014 23:45

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