Sport-related concussion and sensory function in young adults

Robert D. Moore, Steven P. Broglio, Charles H. Hillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The long-term implications of concussive injuries for brain and cognitive health represent a growing concern in the public consciousness. As such, identifying measures sensitive to the subtle yet persistent effects of concussive injuries is warranted. Objective: To investigate how concussion sustained early in life influences visual processing in young adults. We predicted that young adults with a history of concussion would show decreased sensory processing, as noted by a reduction in P1 event-related potential component amplitude. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Thirty-six adults (18 with a history of concussion, 18 controls) between the ages of 20 and 28 years completed a pattern-reversal visual evoked potential task while event-related potentials were recorded. Main Outcome Measure(s): The groups did not differ in any demographic variables (all P values <.05), yet those with a concussive history exhibited reduced P1 amplitude compared with the control participants (P =.05). Conclusions: These results suggest that concussion history has a negative effect on visual processing in young adults. Further, upper-level neurocognitive deficits associated with concussion may, in part, result from less efficient downstream sensory capture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Event-related potentials
  • Mild traumatic brain injuries
  • Pattern-reversal visual evoked potentials
  • Visual processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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