Retrieval Practice Enhances Memory for Names in Survivors of Stroke

Felicity A. Evans, Dana Wong, Renerus J. Stolwyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: Accumulating evidence suggests that retrieval practice (testing during learning) enhances memory in clinical populations. However, no study to date has examined the efficacy of retrieval practice in stroke survivors, despite the negative impact of poststroke memory difficulties. We investigated whether retrieval practice enhances memory for names in stroke survivors and healthy controls. Method: Using a within- and between-subjects design, 20 stroke survivors and 20 healthy controls completed an experimental paradigm that required them to learn 18 name-face pairs divided across 3 learning conditions (spaced restudy, retrieval practice, massed study). A mixed analysis of variance compared participants' name recall across conditions after 30 min and 7 days. Results: There was a main effect of learning condition (p < .001, ηp2 = .67) and a significant Time × Condition interaction (p < .001, ηp2 = .25). Post hoc comparisons revealed that retrieval practice was the superior learning condition in both groups after 30 min. After 7 days, there was no significant difference between the retrieval practice and spaced restudy conditions in stroke survivors (p = .08, d = 0.41), although retrieval practice remained superior to massed study (p = .001, d = 0.88). Conclusions: Retrieval practice is a promising memory technique that significantly enhanced stroke survivors' memory for names. Given similar performance in the retrieval practice and spaced restudy conditions after 7 days, stroke survivors may benefit from multiple presentations of information during learning, rather than 1 prolonged exposure. Future studies should investigate whether additional retrieval opportunities might prolong the beneficial effect of testing during learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)874-880
Number of pages7
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Memory
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

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