Twenty patients admitted for minor or moderate closed-head injury were studied to investigate the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neurobehavioral sequelae. The MRI scans demonstrated 44 more intracranial lesions than did concurrent computerized tomography (CT) scans in 17 patients (85%); most of these lesions were located in the frontal and temporal regions. Estimates of lesion volume based on MRI were frequently greater than with CT; however, MRI disclosed no additional lesions that required surgical evacuation. Neuropsychological assessment during the initial hospitalization revealed deficits in frontal lobe functioning and memory that were related to the size and localization of the lesions as defined by MRI. Follow-up MRI and neuropsychological testing at 1 month (13 cases) and 3 months (six cases) disclosed marked reduction of lesion size paralleled by improvement in cognition and memory. These findings encourage further investigation of the prognostic utility of MRI for the clinical management and rehabilitation of mild or moderate head injury.