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Generalization of face -name recall among survivors of traumatic brain injury

Nancy Jo Manasse, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Persistent memory impairment is a near universal problem after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). One aspect of memory impairment that may negatively influence survivors' social interactions is face-name recall. The inability to remember someone's name may generate feelings of discomfort between conversational partners. Improving a survivor's ability to use spontaneously the names of one or two people with whom they interact daily may improve self-esteem and minimize uneasiness. This study compared the efficacy of three generalization training programs—name restating, phonemic cueing, visual imagery—on survivors' ability to learn and use spontaneously face-name associations within real-world contexts. In this study, two types of training occurred—familiarization training and generalization training. As part of familiarization training, the researcher conducted one-on-one training sessions with each of five survivors of TBI. Sessions were held three times per week for three weeks. During these sessions, the researcher paired imagery statements with pictures of the staff members to facilitate learning of face-name associations. Staff members interacted with the survivors twice daily. After completing familiarization training, generalization training began. The researcher trained staff members at the transitional living facility where the survivors resided to implement one of the three generalization training programs—name restating, phonemic cueing, or visual imagery. These staff members continued interacting with the survivors twice daily to promote name learning and use. It was hypothesized that the visual imagery generalization training program would be most effective in facilitating name learning and use among the survivors of TBI. Additionally, it was expected that maintenance of name use and knowledge would be best for names trained during this program. Results showed no significant difference between generalization training programs on survivors' ability to learn and spontaneously use face-name associations. Furthermore, no consistent patterns arose for maintenance of name use and knowledge. However, all but one participant demonstrated name use and knowledge for at least two target names during one or more generalization training programs. Detailed results, possible explanations, and clinical implications are discussed.

Subject Area

Speech therapy

Recommended Citation

Manasse, Nancy Jo, "Generalization of face -name recall among survivors of traumatic brain injury" (2001). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3022649.