Nonverbal memory tests have great potential value for detecting the impact of lateralized pathology and predicting the risk of memory loss following right temporal lobe resection (TLR) for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients, but this potential has not been realized. Previous reviews suggest that stimulus type moderates the capacity of nonverbal memory tests to detect right-lateralized pathology (i.e., faces > designs), but the roles of other task-related factors have not been systematically explored. We address these limitations using mixed model meta-regression (k = 158) of right-lateralization effects (right worse than left TLE) testing the moderating effects of: 1) stimulus type (designs, faces, spatial), 2) learning format (single trial, repeated trials), 3) testing delay (immediate or long delay), and 4) testing format (recall, recognition) for three patient scenarios: 1) presurgical, 2) postsurgical, and 3) postsurgical change. Stimulus type significantly moderated the size of the right-lateralization effect (faces > designs) for postsurgical patients, test format moderated the size of the right-lateralization effect for presurgical-postsurgical change (recognition > recall) but learning format and test delay had no right-lateralization effect for either sample. For presurgical patients, none of the task-related factors significantly increased right-lateralization effects. This comprehensive review reveals the value of recognition testing in gauging the risk of nonverbal memory decline.
- temporal lobe epilepsy
- nonverbal memory