Skip to main content Accessibility help

Event-based prospective memory performance during subacute recovery following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury in children: Effects of monetary incentives



There are very few studies investigating remediation of event-based prospective memory (EB-PM) impairments following traumatic brain injury (TBI). To address this, we used 2 levels of motivational enhancement (dollars vs. pennies) to improve EB-PM in children with moderate to severe TBI in the subacute recovery phase. Children with orthopedic injuries (OI; n = 61), moderate (n = 28), or severe (n = 30) TBI were compared. Significant effects included Group × Motivation Condition (F(2, 115) = 3.73, p < .03). The OI (p < .002) and moderate TBI (p < .03) groups performed significantly better under the high- versus low-incentive condition; however, the severe TBI group failed to demonstrate improvement (p = .38). EB-PM performance was better in adolescents compared to younger children (p < .02). These results suggest that EB-PM can be significantly improved in the subacute phase with this level of monetary incentives in children with moderate, but not severe, TBI. Other strategies to improve EB-PM in these children at a similar point in recovery remain to be identified and evaluated. (JINS, 2010, 16, 335–341.)


Corresponding author

*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Stephen R. McCauley, Ph.D., Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Baylor College of Medicine, 1709 Dryden Road, Suite 1200, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:


Hide All
Baddeley, A.D. (1990). Human memory. Toronto: Allyn & Bacon.
Best, D.L. (1992). The role of social interaction in memory improvement. In Herrmann, D.J., Searleman, H., Searleman, A., & McEvoy, C. (Eds.), Memory improvement: Implications for memory theory (pp. 122149). New York: Springer-Verlag.
Brandimonte, M.A., & Passolunghi, M.C. (1994). The effect of cue-familiarity, cue-distinctiveness, and retention interval on prospective remembering. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Section A, 47, 565587.
Cockburn, J. (1995). Task interruption in prospective memory: A frontal lobe function? Cortex, 31, 8797.
Committee on Injury Scaling (1990). Abbreviated Injury Scale. Des Plaines, IL: Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.
Driscoll, I., McDaniel, M.A., & Guynn, M.J. (2005). Apolipoprotein E and prospective memory in normally aging adults. Neuropsychology, 19, 2834.
Einstein, G.O., & McDaniel, M.A. (1990). Normal aging and prospective memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition, 16, 717726.
Einstein, G.O., & McDaniel, M.A. (1996). Retrieval processes in prospective memory: Theoretical approaches and some new empirical findings. In Brandimonte, M.A., Einstein, G.O., & McDaniel, M.A. (Eds.), Prospective memory: Theory and applications (pp. 115142). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Fortin, S., Godbout, L., & Braun, C. (2002). Strategic sequence planning and prospective memory impairments in frontally lesioned head trauma patients performing activities of daily living. Brain & Cognition, 48, 361365.
Fortin, S., Godbout, L., & Braun, C.M. (2003). Cognitive structure of executive deficits in frontally lesioned head trauma patients performing activities of daily living. Cortex, 39, 273291.
Furst, C. (1986). The memory derby: Evaluating and remediating intention memory. Cognitive Rehabilitation, 4, 2426.
Gentry, M., & Herrmann, D.J. (1990). Memory contrivances in everyday life. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 16, 241253.
Groot, Y.C., Wilson, B.A., Evans, J., & Watson, P. (2002). Prospective memory functioning in people with and without brain injury. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 8, 645654.
Guajardo, N.R., & Best, D.L. (2000). Do preschoolers remember what to do? Incentive and external cues in prospective memory. Cognitive Development, 15, 7597.
Hannon, R., Adams, P., Harrington, S., Fries-Dias, C., & Gipson, M.T. (1995). Effects of brain injury and age on prospective memory self-rating and performance. Rehabilitation Psychology, 40, 289298.
Harris, J.E. (1984). Remembering to do things: A forgotten topic. In Gruneberg, M.M., Morris, P.E. & Sykes, R.N. (Eds.), Everyday memory: Actions and absent-mindedness (pp. 7192). New York: Academic Press.
Hauser, R.M., & Warren, J.R. (1997). Socioeconomic indexes for occupations: A review, update, and critique. In Raftery, A. (Ed.), Sociological Methodology (Vol. 27, pp. 177298). Washington, DC: American Sociological Association.
Henry, J.D., Phillips, L.H., Crawford, J.R., Kliegel, M., Theodorou, G., & Summers, F. (2007). Traumatic brain injury and prospective memory: Influence of task complexity. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29, 457466.
Herrmann, D., Brubaker, B., Yoder, C., Sheets, V., & Tio, A. (1999). Devices that remind. In Durso, F.T. (Ed.), Handbook of applied cognition (pp. 377407). New York: Wiley.
Huppert, F.A., & Beardsall, L. (1993). Prospective memory impairment as an early indicator of dementia. Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuropsychology, 15, 805821.
Kerns, K.A. (2000). The CyberCruiser: An investigation of development of prospective memory in children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 6, 6270.
Kerns, K.A., & Price, K.J. (2001). An investigation of prospective memory in children with ADHD. Child Neuropsychology, 7, 162171.
Kidder, D.P., Park, D.C., Hertzog, C., & Morrell, R.W. (1997). Prospective memory and aging: The effects of working memory and prospective memory task load. Aging Neuropsychology & Cognition, 4, 93112.
Kinsella, G., Murtagh, D., Landry, A., Homfray, K., Hammond, M., O’Beirne, L., et al. . (1996). Everyday memory following traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 10, 499507.
Kliegel, M., Eschen, A., & Thöne-Otto, A.I. (2004). Planning and realization of complex intentions in traumatic brain injury and normal aging. Brain & Cognition, 56, 4354.
Knight, R.G., Harnett, M., & Titov, N. (2005). The effects of traumatic brain injury on the predicted and actual performance of a test of prospective remembering. Brain Injury, 19, 2738.
Knight, R.G., Titov, N., & Crawford, M. (2006). The effects of distraction on prospective remembering following traumatic brain injury assessed in a simulated naturalistic environment. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 12, 816.
Kvavilashvili, L. (1987). Remembering intention as a distinct form of memory. British Journal of Psychology, 78, 507518.
Kvavilashvili, L. (1992). Remembering intentions: A critical review of existing experimental paradigms. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 6, 507524.
Kvavilashvili, L., Messer, D.J., & Ebdon, P. (2001). Prospective memory in children: The effects of age and task interruption. Developmental Psychology, 37, 418430.
Larson, M.J., Kelly, K.G., Stigge-Kaufman, D.A., Schmalfuss, I.M., & Perlstein, W.M. (2007). Reward context sensitivity impairment following severe TBI: An event-related potential investigation. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13, 615625.
Louda, J., Loseva, D., & Mielke, R. (2007). Prospective memory in patients with traumatic brain injury: An overview. Zeitschrift fur Neuropsychologie, 18, 9199.
Mathias, J.L., & Mansfield, K.M. (2005). Prospective and declarative memory problems following moderate and severe traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 19, 271282.
Maujean, A., Shum, D., & McQueen, R. (2003). The effect of cognitive demand on prospective memory in individuals with traumatic brain injury. Brain Impairment, 4, 135145.
Maylor, E.A. (1990). Age and prospective memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A, 42, 471493.
McCauley, S.R., & Levin, H.S. (2004). Prospective memory in pediatric traumatic brain injury: A preliminary study. Developmental Neuropsychology, 25, 520.
McCauley, S.R., McDaniel, M.A., Pedroza, C., Chapman, S.B., & Levin, H.S. (2009). Incentive effects on event-based prospective memory performance in children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychology, 23, 201209.
McCauley, S.R., & Pedroza, C. (in press). Event-based prospective memory in children with sickle cell disease: Effect of cue distinctiveness. Child Neuropsychology.
McDaniel, M.A., & Einstein, G.O. (1993). The importance of cue familiarity and cue distinctiveness in prospective memory. Memory, 1, 2341.
Meacham, J.A., & Dumitru, J. (1976). Prospective remembering and external-retrieval cues (No. MS 1284). Washington, DC: Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology.
Meacham, J.A., & Leiman, B. (1982). Remembering to perform future actions. In Neisser, U. (Ed.), Memory observed: Remembering in natural contexts (pp. 327336). San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.
Roche, N.L., Fleming, J.M., & Shum, D.H. (2002). Self-awareness of prospective memory failure in adults with traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 16, 931945.
Roche, N.L., Moody, A., Szabo, K., Fleming, J.M., & Shum, D.H.K. (2007). Prospective memory in adults with traumatic brain injury: An analysis of perceived reasons for remembering and forgetting. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 17, 314334.
Ruther, N.M., & Best, D.L. (1993). Development of prospective memory in preschoolers. Paper presented at the Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA, March.
Salthouse, T.A., Berish, D.E., & Siedlech, K.L. (2004). Construct validity and age sensitivity of prospective memory. Memory & Cognition, 32, 11331148.
Shum, D., Valentine, M., & Cutmore, T. (1999). Performance of individuals with severe long-term traumatic brain injury on time-, event-, and activity-based prospective memory tasks. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 21, 4958.
Taylor, H.G. (2004). Research on outcomes of pediatric traumatic brain injury: Current advances and future directions. Developmental Neuropsychology, 25, 199225.
Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., Drotar, D., Klein, S.K., & Stancin, T. (1999). Influences on first-year recovery from traumatic brain injury in children. Neuropsychology, 13, 7689.
Taylor, H.G., Yeates, K.O., Wade, S.L., Drotar, D., Stancin, T., & Minich, N. (2002). A prospective study of short- and long-term outcomes after traumatic brain injury in children: Behavior and achievement. Neuropsychology, 16, 1527.
Teasdale, G., & Jennett, B. (1974). Assessment of coma and impaired consciousness: A practical scale. Lancet, 2, 8184.
Thöne-Otto, A.I., & Walther, K. (2003). How to design an electronic memory aid for brain-injured patients: Considerations on the basis of a model of prospective memory. International Journal of Psychology, 38, 236244.
Ward, H., Shum, D., Dick, B., McKinlay, L., & Baker-Tweney, S. (2004). Interview study of the effects of paediatric traumatic brain injury on memory. Brain Injury, 18, 471495.
Ward, H., Shum, D., McKinlay, L., Baker, S., & Wallace, G. (2007). Prospective memory and pediatric traumatic brain injury: Effects of cognitive demand. Child Neuropsychology, 13, 219239.
Wilkins, A., & Baddeley, A.D. (1978). Remembering to recall in everyday life: An approach to absent-mindedness. In Gruneberg, M.M., Morris, P.E., & Sykes, R.N. (Eds.), Practical aspects of memory. London: Academic Press.
Williams, D.H., Levin, H.S., & Eisenberg, H.M. (1990). Mild head injury classification. Neurosurgery, 27, 422428.
Wilson, B. (1987). The rehabilitation of memory. New York: Guilford.
Winograd, E. (1988). Some observations on prospective remembering. In Gruneberg, M.M., Morris, P.E., & Sykes, R.N. (Eds.), Practical Aspects of Memory: Current Research and Issues (Vol. 1: Memory in everyday life, pp. 348353). Oxford, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Woods, S.P., Iudicello, J.E., Moran, L.M., Carey, C.L., Dawson, M.S., & Grant, I. (2008a). HIV-associated prospective memory impairment increases risk of dependence in everyday functioning. Neuropsychology, 22, 110117.
Woods, S.P., Moran, L.M., Carey, C.L., Dawson, M.S., Iudicello, J.E., Gibson, S., et al. . (2008b). Prospective memory in HIV infection: Is “remembering to remember” a unique predictor of self-reported medication management? Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 23, 257270.
Yeates, K.O., Taylor, H.G., Drotar, D., Wade, S.L., Klein, S., Stancin, T., & Schatschneider, C. (1997). Preinjury family environment as a determinant of recovery from traumatic brain injuries in school-age children. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 3, 617630.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed