The neuropsychology of traumatic brain injury: Looking back, peering ahead

Keith Owen Yeates, Harvey S. Levin, Jennie Ponsford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The past 50 years have been a period of exciting progress in neuropsychological research on traumatic brain injury (TBI). Neuropsychologists and neuropsychological testing have played a critical role in these advances. This study looks back at three major scientific advances in research on TBI that have been critical in pushing the field forward over the past several decades: The advent of modern neuroimaging; the recognition of the importance of non-injury factors in determining recovery from TBI; and the growth of cognitive rehabilitation. Thanks to these advances, we now have a better understanding of the pathophysiology of TBI and how recovery from the injury is also shaped by pre-injury, comorbid, and contextual factors, and we also have increasing evidence that active interventions, including cognitive rehabilitation, can help to promote better outcomes. The study also peers ahead to discern two important directions that seem destined to influence research on TBI over the next 50 years: the development of large, multi-site observational studies and randomized controlled trials, bolstered by international research consortia and the adoption of common data elements; and attempts to translate research into health care and health policy by the application of rigorous methods drawn from implementation science. Future research shaped by these trends should provide critical evidence regarding the outcomes of TBI and its treatment, and should help to disseminate and implement the knowledge gained from research to the betterment of the quality of life of persons with TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)806-817
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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