Verbal learning and memory following stroke

Brain Inj. 2014;28(4):442-7. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2014.888758. Epub 2014 Apr 4.


Objective: The research examined whether verbal learning and memory impairment previously observed 1 year after left hemisphere stroke endures over a longer period and whether stroke sufferers compensate for their impairments using working memory.

Methodology: Twenty-one persons with left hemisphere lesions; 20 with right hemisphere lesions only and 41 matched controls completed the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised (HVLT-R), a working memory test (Letter-Number Sequencing, LNS) and the Boston Naming Test (BNT).

Results: Persons with left hemisphere damage performed more poorly on HVLT-R than controls. They showed poorer immediate recall, delayed recall, recognition and learning, but intact retention, suggesting an encoding impairment. BNT and LNS scores predicted recall in this group. HVLT-R performance of persons with right hemisphere lesions only was comparable to controls. BNT (not LNS) predicted recall in these groups.

Conclusions: Persons with left hemisphere damage relied more on working memory and recruited diverse left hemisphere regions to compensate for their impaired encoding.

Implications: Tasks requiring verbal encoding and memory are effortful following left hemisphere stroke. This should be recognized and accommodated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / etiology
  • Memory Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Memory Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Retention, Psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / physiopathology*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation
  • Verbal Behavior*