The persistent influence of concussion on attention, executive control and neuroelectric function in preadolescent children

Int J Psychophysiol. 2016 Jan;99:85-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.11.010. Epub 2015 Nov 26.


The aim of this investigation was to examine the influence of pediatric sport-related concussion on brain and cognitive function. To do so, we used a between-participants design, measures of executive control, and event-related potentials (ERPs). The findings demonstrate that children with a history of concussion exhibit behavioral deficits in attention, working memory and impulse control, as well as neuroelectric alterations in ERP indices of visual attention (N1), conflict resolution (N2) and attentional resource allocation (P3). Furthermore, the age at injury related to the magnitude of several concussion-related deficits. Accordingly, a single sports-related concussive incident during childhood (m=2.1years prior to testing) may lead to subtle, yet pervasive alterations in the behavioral and neural indices of attention and executive control, and age at injury may moderate injury outcomes.

Keywords: Brain function; Children; Cognition; Event related potentials; Sport-concussion.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / diagnosis
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electroencephalography / trends
  • Executive Function / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology