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J Trauma. 2003 May;54(5):888-95; discussion 895-7.

Can within-category naming identify subtle cognitive deficits in the mild traumatic brain-injured patient?

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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, School of Allied Health Sciences, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.



This investigation examined the effect of a speeded, computer-controlled task on detecting differences in latency and accuracy of within-category name generation in adults having sustained a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).


Twenty-four adults in acute recovery and 24 age-matched controls were instructed to view 72 pictures on a computer monitor, and then name another item belonging to the same category as the visual stimulus as quickly as possible.


The MTBI group demonstrated significantly longer latencies (p < 0.001) and lower accuracy (p < 0.001) than the control group. Both groups displayed similar patterns of response, although the MTBI group produced significantly more perseverative errors (p < 0.001). No significant correlations were found between performance on the Scales of Cognitive Ability for Traumatic Brain Injury and response latency or accuracy.


The MTBI group performed the task significantly slower and less accurately than controls. Reaction time measures may prove more sensitive than traditional assessment measures in detecting subtle difficulties.

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