Semantic memory following pediatric head injury: Relationship to age, severity of injury, and MRI

Harvey S. Levin, Jack M. Fletcher, Lori Kusnerik, Joseph A. Kufera, Matthew A. Lilly, Farifteh F. Duffy, Sandra Chapman, Dianne Mendelsohn, Derek Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The effects of closed head injury (CHI) severity (mild vs. severe) and age at injury were analyzed in a longitudinal study (3, 12 months postinjury) of semantic memory which used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to characterize focal brain lesions. Semantic memory was evaluated by word and category fluency, semantic verification, semantic clustering in word list recall, and vocabulary. Episodic memory was assessed by word list recall. Comparison of normal control (n = 104) data with the patients' data (n = 77) at 3 months postinjury disclosed semantic and episodic memory deficits in the severe CHI patients. Analysis of the longitudinal data revealed significant effects of age at injury for all of the semantic memory measures. The effects of injury severity were confined to the latency of verifying correct statements. Volume of left frontal and extrafrontal lesions was predictive of performance on several semantic memory measures, but less robust for right hemisphere lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-478
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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