The Efficacy of Attention-Remediation Programs for Traumatically Brain-Injured Survivors

  • Robert J. McCaffrey
  • David A. Gansler
Part of the Critical Issues in Neuropsychology book series (CINP)


Meyer (1904) was the first to report slowness of thought and an inability to concentrate as sequelae of traumatic brain injury (TBI). It has been recognized for over 45 years that TBI can result in disorders of attention. Pioneering studies by Conkey (1938) and Ruesch (1944) noted the presence of deficits in mental speed and the inability to sustain attention in patients who had suffered a TBI. Following these initial reports, investigators focused their efforts on other sequelae of TBIs, such as memory, language, perception, and “intelligence.” The apparent neglect of attentional deficits by investigators working in the field of TBI appears to have occurred for several reasons. First, deficits in memory, perception, language, and other factors were more closely tied to the mainstream of experimental psychology in non-TBI populations. Thus, a literature based on nonneurologically impaired individuals was present for clinicians attempting to deal with the sequelae of TBI. Unfortunately, basic experimental research on the concept of attention and into the mechanisms of attention has lagged behind. One major reason for this is that attention is not a unitary concept. As such, attempts at operationally defining attentional difficulties posed a considerable obstacle.


Traumatic Brain Injury Attentional Deficit Spontaneous Recovery Traumatic Brain Injury Patient Cognitive Rehabilitation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. McCaffrey
    • 1
  • David A. Gansler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at AlbanyAlbanyUSA
  2. 2.Boston Veterans Medical CenterBostonUSA

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