While much has been learned about how children with TBIs learn and recall stories, word lists, and pictures, little is known about how they perform PM tasks. Impairment in PM could have serious implications for academic and vocational pursuits. This study will investigate PM in children with mild or severe TBI. The study will focus on three major themes: 1) strategies that may help children with TBI overcome or minimize their PM deficits; 2) how specific areas of cognition can be impaired following TBI and in turn impair PM; and 3) the impact of PM deficits on a child's daily functioning, both at school and at home. The study will also evaluate children without TBI (control group).
Each child will participate in one study evaluation. The evaluation will last approximately 4 hours, with a lunch break and other rest breaks as necessary. Assessments will include neuropsychological tests of attention, memory, and general intellectual functioning. Experimental tasks will include measures of metacognition for prospective memory, elucidation of strategic versus automatic processes involved in PM, and the effect of motivation manipulations in overcoming PM deficits with varying working memory loads. The child's parent or guardian will also be asked to complete some tests to measure the impact of PM deficits on the child's daily home life.