Functional skill learning in men with traumatic brain injury

  • Giuffrida C
  • Demery J
  • Reyes L
 et al. 
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Abstract

The number of people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) having persistent deficits that compromise their ability to perform everyday skills is increasing. Previous occupation-based studies indicate that computer-based skills using repetitive practice may be a viable option for retraining. We investigated the effects of different practice schedules on skill learning in 6 men with TBI. Participants with significant impairments in processing and fine motor control practiced 3 tasks using a random (n = 3) or a blocked (n = 3) ordered practice schedule. Practice occurred for 55 min/day for 13 days with retention and transfer trials taking place 2 weeks after training. Both groups showed a significant increase in performance during skill acquisition and maintained this performance. Only the random-practice group, however, was able to transfer this learning to another task. The findings provide evidence that people with TBI can improve their everyday skills with randomly structured practice.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Brain injuries
  • Cognition disorders
  • Learning
  • Motor skills
  • Task performance and analysis

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