Imagery mnemonics and memory remediation

Richardson, John T. E. (1992). Imagery mnemonics and memory remediation. Neurology, 42(2) pp. 283–286.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.​1212/​WNL.​42.​2.​283

Abstract

This paper evaluates the claim that imagery mnemonic techniques are useful in remediation of memory disorders in brain-damaged patients. Clinical research has confirmed that such techniques can lead to improved performance on formal testing in a number of neurologic disease populations and following lesions of either the left or right hemisphere. However, those patients with more severe forms of amnesia and those with medial or bilateral damage do not improve unless the learning task is highly structured. Even among patients who show improvement on formal testing, there is little evidence that they maintain the use of these techniques in similar learning tasks or generalize the use to new learning situations. Imagery mnemonics also appear to be of little practical value in the daily activities that are of most concern to brain-damaged patients themselves. The effectiveness of imagery mnemonics appears to depend upon the patients' motivation and insight rather than upon their intelligence or educational level. Instead of training patients in specific mnemonic techniques, clinicians should promote the development of "metacognitive" skills and the acquisition of knowledge about domains of practical significance.

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