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January 2022

Effects of divided attention on implicit and explicit memory performance following severe closed head injury

Journal/Book: Neuropsychology. 1996; 10: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Amer Psychological Assoc. 155-167.

Abstract: This study investigated the relation between attentional limitations and memory impairments in patients with dosed head injuries (CHI). Twenty-seven CHI participants (> 1 year postinjury) and 27 matched controls rated their liking of target words under conditions of full and divided attention. Participants then completed an implicit test of tachistoscopic identification (TI) and an explicit test of recognition for the target words. As expected, the results revealed impaired explicit memory but preserved perceptually driven implicit memory performance following a CHI. Contrary to what was hypothesized, a reduction in attention available at encoding did not disproportionately impair the recognition performance of the CHI patients. Finally, unlike controls, the CHI participants' priming scores on the TI task were significantly affected by dividing attention at encoding. However, this finding interacted with CHI participants' perceptual processing rates, suggesting that nonmemory cognitive factors may influence measured performances on implicit memory tests.

Note: Article M Schmitteredgecombe, Washington State Univ, Dept Psychol, Pullman, WA 99164 USA

Keyword(s): UNCONSCIOUS INFLUENCES; HUNTINGTONS-DISEASE; RECOGNITION MEMORY; INTENTIONAL USES; INFORMATION; ALZHEIMERS; ACTIVATION; RETRIEVAL; RETENTION; AMNESIA


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