Memory and Learning after Brain Injury

Memory and Learning after Brain Injury

Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Ph.D., and Lawrence S. Dilks, Ph.D.

Memory is an incredible gift that many take for granted. Memories allow an individual to mentally re-experience past events. This Tip Card by Kimberly Hutchinson, PhD, and Larry Dilks, Ph.D, identifies three realms of memory, and then, determines how interference with the physical process of making memories often results in memory loss. In this Tip Card, you learn how to develop ways to improve memory and learning.

This Tip Card is one of a set of four from the authors. The other three Tip Cards are: 

Take some time to look at them. You will want them as a part of your collection.

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Full Description

Kimberly Hutchinson, PhD, and Larry Dilks, PhD, have categorized the three realms of memory as: immediate, recent/working, and long-term. They have shown how a memory can be disrupted or lost due to any number of factors, including TBI. And, they have observed that after brain injury, some individuals memories were never recovered, while others may slowly fade away.

As a companion to the two-volume set, Cognitive Rehabilitation of Executive Functions, this Tip Card can serve as a quick reference guide on Executive Functions. There are many ways to improve memory and learning that have been tested and proved to work well. Contained in this Tip Card is one that originates from Greece “Simomides Memory Palace.” Dr. Hutchinson and Dr. Dilks confirm that when memory has been compromised due to some form of disruption and/or injury, recovering skills and abilities only occurs by learning, relearning, and repetition (Practice, Practice, Practice).

Pages 8
Year 2017


Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Ph.D.

She is a Clinical Psychologist with Counseling Services in Lake Charles, Louisiana and Physical Rehabilitation Services at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. She graduated from Barry University, Villanova University, and Fielding Graduate University. Kim taught at Barry University and has a research interest in rehabilitation and is completing a fellowship in Neurocognitive Rehabilitation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

Lawrence S. Dilks, Ph.D.

He is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who has a private practice with Counseling Services in Lake Charles Louisiana and serves as the head of the Department of Neuropsychology with the Physical Rehabilitation Service at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital. He graduated from Truman State University, Kansas State at Pittsburg and The University of Southern Mississippi. Larry served four years as an Army Clinical Psychologist. He taught at Northwestern and McNeese State Universities. In the past 37 years, Larry has focused on helping individuals overcome psychological and cognitive impairments with the primary goal of maintaining as much independence as possible.


What is Memory?

Three Realms of Memory

Immediate Memory

Recent/Working Memory

Long-term Memory

Loss/interference of memories

Memory assists in Executive Functions

Ways of improving memory and learning

Preparation Steps for improving memory and learning

Techniques to improve memory, learning, and recall

Simomides Memory Palace



Laying a good foundation is critical to successfully completing any project. So, before you begin to actually learn, memorize or study, consider the following steps:

  • Organize all the information you will be working with into a logical format.
  • Sit back and visualize the information in different formats or patterns.
  • Focus on areas of weakness and plan extra time to work with information you know needs extra effort.
  • Study material in different environments. This will enhance the depth of your memory and learning.
  • Get adequate sleep before you start any learning or memorization project. Never start tired.
  • Review your notes before you begin. Reduce or eliminate any conflicting information.
  • Reorganize information into small, manageable groups. Five (5) to seven (7) items in a group are ideal.
  • Reduce or eliminate interference. Turn off the computer, cell phone, radio, i-pad, etc.