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Neuropsychology. 2011 Jan;25(1):36-44. doi: 10.1037/a0020333.

Recovery of time estimation following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA 99004-2423, USA. janderson@ewu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Accurate time estimation abilities are thought to play an important role in efficient performance of many daily activities. This study investigated the role of episodic memory in the recovery of time estimation abilities following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

METHOD:

Using a prospective verbal time estimation paradigm, TBI participants were tested in the early phase of recovery from TBI and then again approximately one year later. Verbal time estimations were made for filled intervals both within (i.e., 10 s, 25 s) and beyond (i.e., 45 s 60 s) the time frame of working memory.

RESULTS:

At baseline, when compared to controls, the TBI group significantly underestimated time durations at the 25 s, 45 s and 60 s intervals, indicating that the TBI group perceived less time as having passed than actually had passed. At follow-up, despite the presence of continued episodic memory impairment and little recovery in episodic memory performance, the TBI group exhibited estimates of time passage that were similar to controls.

CONCLUSION:

The pattern of data was interpreted at suggesting that episodic memory performance did not play a noteworthy role in the recovery of temporal perception in TBI participants.

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