Effects of mild traumatic brain injury on narrative discourse production

Frances M. Tucker*, Robert E. Hanlon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) and postconcussive syndrome can result in difficult to document complaints regarding subtle language use. Narrative discourse production has been shown to be a sensitive index of linguistic and cognitive deficits in the more severe TBI population. The narrative discourse production of MTBI subjects was investigated to determine whether cognitive changes were reflected in linguistic production. Eight MTBI, five moderate TBI, and five neurologically normal subjects were matched for age, education, and gender. The TBI subjects were matched on a number of neuropsychological measures. The subjects produced marratives about their correct picture sequences on five items from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised picture arrangement subtest. The narratives were scored for correct arrangement, content essential information, correct story, and implied meaning. Significant differences were found between the normal control group and both the TBI groups on accuracy of narrative description of the correct picture sequences. Although differences in generation of implied meaning failed to reach significance, a trend was noted for both the TBI groups to produce fewer implied meanings than the control group. The results suggest that cognitive disruptions associated with MTBI may affect the quality of narrative discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-792
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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