The Efficacy of the Generation Effect in Improving New Learning in Persons With Traumatic Brain Injury

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ObjectiveTo evaluate the usefulness of the generation effect in improving learning and memory abilities in neurologically impaired individuals. The generation effect is the observation that items self-generated by participants are better remembered than items provided by the examiner. Although this effect has shown to be relatively robust in healthy adults, few studies have examined the usefulness of the generation effect in neurological populations.Participants18 individuals with moderate–severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and 18 healthy adults.Main Outcome MeasureThe measure was the generation effect protocol.ResultsResults indicated recall and recognition of generated information was significantly higher than that of provided information across testing conditions. However, healthy adults showed greater benefit from the generation effect than did individuals with TBI. As expected, recall and recognition performance diminished over time (i.e., immediate recall, 30 min, 1 week) however, rates of forgetting did not differ between groups.ConclusionSelf-generation significantly improved verbal learning and memory in individuals with TBI. The results of self-generation in improving learning suggest that applying that technique may be beneficial in the cognitive rehabilitation of persons with TBI.

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