Metamemory and Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury

brain illustration

Metamemory is the awareness and control of your ability to remember. This could include judging how well you remember something, detecting memory mistakes, or developing learning strategies. An impairment in metamemory can therefore hinder cognitive rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury.

In a recent study that compared memory performance (recall of information) to metamemory performance (judgment of well one recalled information), researchers found that pediatric brain injury patients showed poor metamemory in general. Interestingly, even as patients' performance for memory improved, patients did not necessarily improve in metamemory. Patients with more severe injuries were the least likely to have accurate judgment of their memory performance.

This suggests that patients with severe traumatic brain injuries not only need rehabilitation for the recovery of memory, but also rehabilitation of awareness and judgment of their memory impairments.

Crowther JE, Hanten G, Li X, et al. Impairments in learning, memory, and metamemory following childhood head injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. (June 2011).