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Verbal Learning Strategy Following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

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journal contribution
posted on 05.12.2013, 00:00 authored by Elizabeth K. Geary, Marilyn F. Kraus, Leah H. Rubin, Neil H. Pliskin, Deborah M. Little
That learning and memory deficits persist many years following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is controversial due to inconsistent objective evidence supporting subjective complaints. Our prior work demonstrated significant reductions in performance on the initial trial of a verbal learning task and overall slower rate of learning in well-motivated mTBI participants relative to demographically matched controls. In our previous work, we speculated that differences in strategy use could explain the differences in rate of learning. The current study serves to test this hypothesis by examining strategy use on the California Verbal Learning Test-Second Edition. Our present findings support the primary hypothesis that mTBI participants under-utilize semantic clustering strategies during list-learning relative to control participants. Despite achieving comparable total learning scores, we posit that the persisting learning and memory difficulties reported by some mTBI patients may be related to reduced usage of efficient internally driven strategies that facilitate learning. Given that strategy training has demonstrated improvements in learning and memory in educational and occupational settings, we offer that these findings have translational value in offering an additional approach in remediation of learning and memory complaints reported by some following mTBI.


This work is supported in part by NIH grant K23 MH068787 (MFK) and T32-MH067631 (EKG) from the National Institute of Mental 716 E.K. Geary et al. Health, the Marshall Goldberg Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, NICHD/ORWH grant K12HD055892 (LHR), and a grant from the Department of Defense/Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program grant PT 075675.


Publisher Statement

This is a copy of an article published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society © 2011 Cambridge University Press.


Geary EK, Kraus MF, Rubin LH, Pliskin NH, Little DM. Verbal learning strategy following mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 2011 Jul;17(4):709-19. doi 10.1017/S1355617711000646


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