Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Heath, Matthew


Executive dysfunction represents a persistent concussion deficit; however, it is largely unclear whether the deficit persists in an athlete after they have been deemed safe to return to play. In the present work, athletes with a sport-related concussion, and their age- and sex-matched controls, completed prosaccades and executive-related antisaccades: (1) 2-6 days post-concussion (i.e., initial assessment), and (2) 14-20 days after initial assessment and only when an athlete was medically cleared for safe return to play (i.e., follow-up assessment). Initial assessment antisaccades for the concussed group produced longer reaction times (RT) and more directional errors than the control group. The follow-up assessment showed comparable between-group antisaccade RTs; however, the concussed group exhibited more directional errors. Thus, the antisaccade task detects executive-related concussive deficits in both the early and later stages of concussion recovery.