Retrieval practice A simple strategy for improving memory after traumatic brain injury

Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Laboratory, Kessler Foundation Research Center, West Orange, New Jersey 07052, USA.
Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society (Impact Factor: 2.96). 10/2010; 16(6):1147-50. DOI: 10.1017/S1355617710001128
Source: PubMed


Memory impairment is common following traumatic brain injury (TBI), but interventions to improve memory in persons with TBI have been ineffective. Retrieval practice is a robust memory strategy among healthy undergraduates, whereby practice retrieving information shortly after it is presented leads to better delayed recall than simple restudy. In a verbal paired associate paradigm, we investigated the effect of retrieval practice relative to massed and spaced restudy on delayed recall in 14 persons with chronic memory impairment following a TBI and 14 age-matched healthy controls. A significant learning condition (massed restudy, spaced restudy, retrieval practice) by group (TBI, healthy) interaction emerged, whereby only healthy controls benefited from spaced restudy (i.e., distributed learning) over massed restudy, but both groups greatly benefited from retrieval practice over massed and spaced restudy. That is, retrieval practice greatly improves memory in persons with TBI, even when other mnemonic strategies (e.g., distributed learning) are less effective.

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Available from: John Deluca, Feb 24, 2015
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    • "Testing can enhance learning in clinical populations (Wilson, 2009). Regarding the backward effect of testing, testing of previously studied information has been shown to increase its longterm retention in persons with Alzheimer's disease (Camp et al., 1999; Small, 2012), multiple sclerosis (MS; Sumowski et al., 2010a, 2013), and traumatic brain injury (TBI; Sumowski et al., 2010b, 2014), indicating that the backward effect is broadly present in clinical populations. In contrast, regarding the forward effect of testing, only very recently Pastötter et al. (2013) "
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    ABSTRACT: In the last couple of years, there has been a dramatic increase in laboratory research examining the benefits of recall testing on long-term learning and retention. This work was largely on the backward effect of testing, which shows that retrieval practice on previously studied information, compared to restudy of the same material, renders the information more likely to be remembered in the future. Going beyond this prominent work, more recent laboratory research provided evidence that there is also a forward effect of testing, which shows that recall testing of previously studied information can enhance learning of subsequently presented new information. Here, we provide a review of research on this forward effect of testing. The review shows that the effect is a well replicated phenomenon in laboratory studies that has been observed for both veridical information and misinformation. In particular, the review demonstrates that the effect may be applied to educational and clinical settings, enhancing learning in students and reducing memory deficits in clinical populations. The review discusses current theoretical explanations of the forward effect of testing and provides suggestions for future research directions.
    Frontiers in Psychology 04/2014; 5:286. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00286 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Recent work in cognitive psychology suggests that testing can increase memory for both previously and subsequently studied information. Here we examined whether these beneficial (backward and forward) effects of testing generalize to individuals with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). Method: Twenty-four persons with severe TBI, 12.7 years postinjury, and 12 healthy controls participated in the study. Participants studied three lists of items in anticipation of a final cumulative recall test. They were tested immediately between the study of lists or not. Results: Immediate testing of Lists 1 and 2 enhanced recall of both the previously studied information (Lists 1 and 2) and the subsequently studied information (List 3). The enhancement for the three lists arose for individuals with severe TBI and healthy controls, and did not differ in size between subject groups. Conclusion: The findings indicate that TBI persons show a very general benefit from testing, including both backward and forward effects of retrieval practice. Testing thus might be a powerful technique to improve learning and memory in persons with severe TBI.
    Neuropsychology 03/2013; 27(2):280-285. DOI:10.1037/a0031797 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Memory impairment is prevalent in multiple sclerosis (MS). Retrieval practice is a powerful memory technique whereby retrieving information (quizzing oneself) leads to better memory than restudying. In a within-subjects experiment, 12 memory-impaired MS patients encoded verbal paired associates (VPAs) through massed restudy (MR), spaced restudy (SR), or retrieval practice (RP). Half of VPAs were tested after short delay (30 minutes) and half after long delay (one week). RP robustly improved memory more than restudy. Short delay: MR=15.6%, SR=27.1%, RP=72.9%. Long delay: MR=1.0%, SR=4.2%, RP=24.0%. RP was the best memory technique for nearly all patients after both short and long delays.
    Multiple Sclerosis 05/2013; 19(14). DOI:10.1177/1352458513485980 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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