Master of Science
Dr. Jim Dickey
There is a growing appreciation in research that subconcussive impacts may affect cognitive functioning. Canadian University football players (n=45) were separated into three groups based on their position/skill (small skilled, big skilled and big unskilled). An impact measuring device (GForceTracker) was used to record the number of impacts that each player experienced in a season. Player groups were separated into two levels of impact exposure: low and high. Players completed baseline, midseason, postseason, and follow-up neurophysiological tests (four months later) to measure P3b amplitude in response to a visual oddball paradigm, and high versus low impact subgroups for each player group were compared. Small skilled and big skilled players showed significant decreases in P3b amplitudes at midseason and postseason, reflecting decreased attentional resources allocated to the task. No skill group exhibited a significant change from baseline at follow-up, illustrating that in-season cognitive function deficits appear to recover in the offseason.
Brooks, Jeffrey S., "The use of P3b as an indicator of neurophysiologic change from subconcussive impacts in football players" (2016). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 4253.