Declarative and procedural memory during post traumatic amnesia



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Declarative and procedural learning during the post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) phase of recovery from head injury were examined. Sixteen severe closed head injured patients and matched controls were each tested on three consecutive days, and then on a fourth day once the patients had recovered from PTA. Subjects in PTA consistently performed below control levels on all the tests. Significant improvement during PTA was found by the PTA subjects on the procedural tests. These same subjects retained the procedural skills when PTA had resolved. In contrst, declarative memory did not improve during PTA, but increased significantly after recovery from PTA. Rate of learning during PTA varied across procedural tests, and motor learning showed greater improvement post PTA than pattern-analyzing skill. Procedural motor learning was not correlated with motor disability, and length of coma was only related to pattern-analyzing procedural skill.



Memory disorders, Head wounds and injuries