Brain Trauma Rehabilitation Terms [Easy Guide Around Difficult Words] – Part 1

Many of us are so overwhelmed by the process of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) diagnosis, treatment, and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, that we don’t even think to ask the important questions, or understand everything that the doctor says. A good physician will explain the tests, the diagnosis and the necessary rehabilitation in layman’s terms, but some don’t.

Here are some terms you might find useful when talking to healthcare staff about traumatic brain injury.


The conscious process of knowing, or being aware of thoughts, or perceptions, including understanding and reasoning.

Cognitive functions:

Involving higher mental functioning - learning, memory, imagination, comprehension, decision making. Also, the means by which an individual becomes aware of people, objects, and situations in the environment and their subjective, symbolic meaning.

Executive functions:

The capacities necessary to formulate, plan and carry out tasks effectively. These functions are essential for independent, creative and socially constructive behavior. These are controlled by the frontal lobe.

Neuropsychological Functions:

Brain functions relating to behavior based on the results of standardized tests, history, present circumstances, attitudes and the expectations of the patient as well as the patient’s behavior during the examination.


The ability to make sense of what one sees, hears, feels, tastes, or smells. Perceptual
losses are often very subtle and the patient and/or family are unaware of them.


Ability to bring the cognitive process to figure out how to do a task.

Range of motion (ROM):

The normal range of movement of any body joint. Range of motion also refers to exercises designed to maintain this range and prevent contractures.


The ability to think logically.


Response to a physical danger, or severe stress characterized by a state of apathy, lethargy, depression, and retreat into oneself.

Abstract thinking:

Being able to apply abstract concepts to new situations and surroundings.

brain trauma rehabilitation

Community skills:

Those abilities needed to function independently in the community. They may include telephone skills, money management, pedestrian skills, use of public transportation, meal planning, and cooking.


The ability to focus on a given task, or set of stimuli for an appropriate period of time.

Concrete thinking:

A style of thinking in which the individual sees each situation as unique and is unable to generalize from the similarities between situations. Language and perceptions are interpreted literally so that a proverb such as "a stitch in time saves nine" cannot be readily grasped


Inability to suppress (inhibit) impulsive behavior and emotions.


Not knowing where you are, who you are, or the current date. Health professionals often speak of a normal person as being oriented "times three" which refers to person, place and time

Stay tuned for the second part of this TBI glossary guide.

NeuLife Rehabilitation –  one of the best Brain Trauma Rehabilitation facilities!

NeuLife Rehabilitation is one of the best TBI rehab centers with specialized catastrophic rehabilitation programs for a wide range of catastrophic injuries.

Our programs for brain trauma rehabilitation are customized to meet the individual needs of each patient, and care plans are structured to promote the highest level of functional independence and successful community reintegration. Through the skills and experience of our highly trained team of clinical experts, we are able to treat a wide range of diagnoses and injuries at our brain injury facility.

If you have any more questions concerning neuro rehab, brain rehab, or any other issue regarding brain injury, call us to make an appointment today. You can also schedule a tour to visit our best brain injury facility.


The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


Dedicated to providing the highest caliber of care to individuals with brain injuries, NeuLife Rehabilitation is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
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