Comparison between three memory tests: Cued recall, priming and saving closed-head injured patients and controls

Eli Vakil, Yuval Oded

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Twenty closed-head injured (CHI) patients and 20 matched controls were tested with three different memory tasks: cued recall, word stem completion (WSC), and saving. Saving is defined as the advantage of relearning of a list of word pairs, in terms of the number of learning trials to the criterion of one errorless trial, over the original learning of the same list. It was predicted that CHI patients' explicit memory (i.e., cued recall), but not implicit memory (i.e., WSC), would be impaired. The question addressed in this study is whether the memory of CHI patients will be impaired when memory is tested with a saving task, with 2 weeks delay between original learning and relearning. The findings confirm impairment of CHI patients in explicit memory, although the learning rate is preserved. Implicit memory is preserved in CHI patients only when based on reactivation of preexisting knowledge, but not when dependent on forming new associations. Finally, the CHI patients, even after 2 weeks delay, demonstrated a significant saving in relearning old, as compared to new, pairs of words. The clinical contribution of this study is the delineation of those aspects of memory that are impaired and those that are preserved in CHI patients. The theoretical implications of the finding that memory could be preserved in CHI patients when measured by saving, are discussed in terms of the relationship between implicit memory and saving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-282
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


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