Author(s): Cazalis F, Azouvi P, Sirigu A, Agar N, Burnod Y
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Abstract Severe diffuse traumatic brain injury (TBI) may impair the performance of daily-life complex activities. The aim of the present study was to assess whether these difficulties are related to a representational impairment of action knowledge. Two tasks requiring the manipulation of scripts were used. The first (script reconstitution) required subjects to sort cards describing actions belonging to 4 different scripts, presented in a random order. The second (script generation) required subjects to generate actions belonging to a given script. The results showed that TBI patients had preserved access to goal representation and action knowledge. However, they demonstrated (1) significant impairments when they had to deal with simultaneous competing sources of information and (2) a lack of inhibitory control on routine overlearned skills. Patients' performance was significantly correlated with behavioral modifications in everyday life. These data suggest that action impairment in severe TBI patients cannot be attributed to an impairment of action knowledge per se. As previously suggested by Schwartz et al., a restriction of limited-capacity processing resources may account for the observed deficits.
This article was published in J Int Neuropsychol Soc
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation