Selective learning (SL), the ability to select items to learn from among other items, engages cognitive control, which is purportedly mediated by the frontal cortex and its circuitry. Using incentive-based auditory word recall and expository discourse tasks, we studied the efficiency of SL in children ages 6 to 16 years who had sustained severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) at least 1 year earlier. We hypothesized that SL would be compromised by severe TBI. Results indicated that children with severe TBI performed significantly worse than age-matched typically developing children on word- and discourse-level measures of SL efficiency with no significant group differences in number of items recalled from auditory word lists or declarative facts. We conclude that severe TBI disrupts incentive-based cognitive control processes, possibly due to involvement of frontal neural networks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology