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J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Aug;32(7):728-36. doi: 10.1080/13803390903512652. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Verbal memory impairment in severe closed head injury: the role of encoding and consolidation.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA 90502, USA.


We applied the item-specific deficit approach (ISDA) to California Verbal Learning Test data obtained from 56 severe, acceleration-deceleration closed head injury (CHI) participants and 62 controls. The CHI group demonstrated deficits on all ISDA indices in comparison to controls. Regression analyses indicated that encoding deficits, followed by consolidation deficits, accounted for most of the variance in delayed recall. Additionally, level of acquisition played a partial role in CHI-associated consolidation difficulties. Finally, CHI encoding deficits were largely driven by low semantic clustering during list learning. These results suggest that encoding (primary) and consolidation (secondary) deficits account for CHI-associated verbal memory impairment.

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