Short-term recognition memory in relation to severity of head injury.
Short-term recognition memory for random shapes was studied in 24 patients with head injury. The severity of head injury as indexed by duration of coma was closely related to impairment in performance. Disruption of short-term recognition memory was associated with neurologic deficit, asphasic disturbance, and signs of brain stem involvement. Performance was not related to association value of the shapes irrespective of linguistic competence. The findings are discussed in relation to recent studies of continuous recognition memory after head injury and hypotheses concerning neurological dysfunction in head injury.