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How Inhibition Relates to Impulsivity after Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 July 2013

Lucien Rochat
Affiliation:
Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit, University of Geneva, Switzerland Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Catia Beni
Affiliation:
Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit, University of Geneva, Switzerland
Jean-Marie Annoni
Affiliation:
Neuropsychology Unit, Geneva University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Philippe Vuadens
Affiliation:
Clinique Romande de Réadaptation, Sion, Switzerland
Martial Van der Linden
Affiliation:
Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit, University of Geneva, Switzerland Swiss Centre for Affective Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland Cognitive Psychopathology Unit, University of Liège, Belgium
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Impulsive behaviors and poor inhibition performances are frequently described in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, few studies have examined impulsivity and associated inhibition impairments in these patients. Twenty-eight patients with moderate to severe TBI and 27 matched controls performed a stop-signal task designed to assess prepotent response inhibition (the ability to inhibit a dominant or automatic motor response) in a neutral or emotional context and a recent negative task to assess resistance to proactive interference (the ability to resist the intrusion into memory of information that was previously relevant but has since become irrelevant). Informants of each patient completed a short questionnaire designed to assess impulsivity. Patients showed a significant increase in current urgency, lack of premeditation, and lack of perseverance when retrospectively compared with the preinjury condition. Group comparisons revealed poorer prepotent response inhibition and resistance to proactive interference performances in patients with TBI. Finally, correlation analyses revealed a significant positive correlation between urgency (the tendency to act rashly when distressed) and prepotent response inhibition in patients with TBI. This study sheds new light on the construct of impulsivity after a TBI, its related cognitive mechanisms, and its potential role in problematic behaviors described after a TBI. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–9)

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The International Neuropsychological Society 2013 

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