Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Neurosciences, Rehabilitation, Neurosciences & Neurology, CLOSED-HEAD-INJURY, MORRIS WATER MAZE, 9-MONTH-OLD INFANTS, PLACE NAVIGATION, SCHOOL-CHILDREN, IMMATURE RAT, RADIAL MAZE, ONTOGENY, IMPAIRMENT, LOCALIZATION, Analysis of Variance, Brain Injuries, Child, Cognition Disorders, Cues, Female, Humans, Learning, Male, Maze Learning, Memory Disorders, Neuropsychological Tests, Orientation, Prospective Studies, Severity of Illness Index, 11 Medical and Health Sciences, 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
The present study set out to examine the recovery of spatial learning and cognitive mapping skills after severe TBI in childhood. A prospective investigation was carried out with repeated measures. Children with TBI (n = 18) and healthy matched controls (n = 18) were investigated while the children with TBI stayed in a rehabilitation facility (t0) and 4 years later (t1). Children were assessed with the Kiel Locomotor Maze, where they had to remember defined locations in an experimental chamber with completely controlled intra- and extra-maze cues until the learning criterion was reached. During probe trials, cognitive mapping strategies were assessed. Results showed (i) that spatial learning is functionally restituted 4 years post-trauma and (ii) that cognitive mapping skills are still impaired 4 years post-trauma. It was concluded that cognitive performance of children who survived a severe TBI may he overestimated, having far reaching consequences for the children.