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Chapter 15. Learning, Memory, Language, & Speech

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A 27-year-old man suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a motorcycle accident. He was unconscious and was rushed to the emergency department of the local hospital. A CT scan was performed and appropriate interventions were taken. About 6 months later he still had memory deficits. Specifically, he could no longer facilitate the recognition of words by prior exposure to them. What type of memory is this and what part of the brain is likely to have been damaged by the traumatic brain injury?

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A. Episodic memory and hippocampus

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B. Priming memory and neocortex

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C. Associative learning and amygdala

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D. Semantic memory and medial temporal lobe

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E. Procedural memory and striatum

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The correct answer is B. Priming is a subtype of implicit or nondeclarative memory; it refers to the facilitation of the recognition of words or objects by prior exposure to them and is dependent on the neocortex. Episodic (for events) and semantic (for words) memory are subtypes of explicit (declarative) memory for factual knowledge about people, places, and things and is dependent on the hippocampus and other parts of the medial temporal lobes for retention (rules out options A and D). Associative learning relates to classical and operant conditioning in which one learns about the relationship between one stimulus and another; it is dependent on the amygdala for its emotional responses and the cerebellum for the motor responses (rules out option C). Procedural memory includes skills and habits, which, once acquired, become unconscious and automatic; it is processed in the striatum (rules out option E).

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A 25-year-old man who was not wearing a helmet was in a motorcycle accident. He was rushed to the emergency department of the local hospital where it was determined that he had a traumatic brain injury. Based on the Glasgow Coma Scale, the trauma was defined as being moderate to severe. Which of the following symptoms are consistent with this level of traumatic brain injury?

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A. Problems with memory, concentration, or thinking

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B. Fatigue, sleep disturbances, and mood changes

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C. Convulsions or seizures, an inability to be roused, and fixed and dilated pupils

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D. A permanent vegetative state

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E. Slurred speech, limb weakness, loss of coordination, and increased confusion

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The correct answer is C. Individuals with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury show the following symptoms vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability ...

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