Childhood Head Injury and Metacognitive Processes in Language and Memory

Gerri Hanten, Maureen Dennis, Lifang Zhang, Marcia Barnes, Garland Roberson, Jennifer Archibald, James Song, Harvey S. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


We studied the metacognitive functioning of children with severe and mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and typically developing children. To test metacognition for memory, children were tested on a modified Judgment of Learning task. We found that children with severe TBI were impaired in their ability to predict recall of specific items prior to study-recall trials, but were unimpaired in predicting recall on a delayed test when the judgment was made after study-recall trials. Metacognitive knowledge impairment for memorial abilities was also demonstrated in children with severe TBI by poor estimation of memory span and exaggerated overconfidence in performance. To test metacognition within the language domain, we gave children a sentence anomaly detection and repair task in which spoken sentences were monitored for semantic anomalies. Children with severe TBI were impaired on the detection of semantic anomalies, especially under conditions of high memory load. However, metalinguistic knowledge in the form of adequate repairs of anomalous sentences, was preserved. Results are discussed in terms of effects of age at test and injury severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-106
Number of pages22
JournalDevelopmental Neuropsychology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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