Objective: When typical and atypical information about a situation is presented, the latter is usually better recognized. This phenomenon is referred to as the 'typicality effect'. It is claimed by most theories that typical and atypical information are mediated by automatic and effortful processes, respectively. Previous studies reported that patients with closed-head injury (CHI) are impaired only on memory tasks that required effortful but not automatic processes. Accordingly, it was hypothesized that these patients would not show the typicality effect when presented with scripts composed of typical and atypical actions. Method: Twenty-two patients with CHI and 23 matched controls listened to two scripts which consisted of typical and atypical activities. Results: As predicted, the findings of the present study revealed impaired typicality effect for patients with CHI as compared with controls. The advantage of the control group over the CHI group was more pronounced in the recognition of atypical than typical actions. Conclusions: The results are discussed in terms of the limited attentional capacity or passive learning strategy, characteristic of memory impairment in patients with CHI.