From a review of the literature on the consequences of thalamic infarctions, it may be concluded that memory problems taking the form of an amnesic syndrome are dependent upon the integrity of the mammillo-thalamic tract (MTT). Memory problems incompatible with an amnesic syndrome however, appear to result from thalamic infarctions involving other areas of the thalamus but which leave MTT intact. In contrast, executive dysfunctions could not be shows so readily to depend upon a single structure of the thalamus. The results indicate that damage to the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus, the midline nuclei or the intralaminar nuclei, or a combined lesion of these structures may be responsible for deficits of executive functioning. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. Ail rights reserved.