Three-dimensional multiple object tracking in the pediatric population: the NeuroTracker and its promising role in the management of mild traumatic brain injury

Neuroreport. 2018 May 2;29(7):559-563. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000988.


As mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) affects hundreds of thousands of children and their families each year, investigation of potential mTBI assessments and treatments is an important research target. Three-dimensional multiple object tracking (3D-MOT), where an individual must allocate attention to moving objects within 3D space, is one potentially promising assessment and treatment tool. To date, no research has looked at 3D-MOT in a pediatric mTBI population. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine 3D-MOT learning in children and youth with and without mTBI. Thirty-four participants (mean age=14.69±2.46 years), with and without mTBI, underwent six visits of 3D-MOT. A two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant time effect, a nonsignificant group effect, and a nonsignificant group-by-time interaction on absolute speed thresholds. In contrast, significant group and time effects and a significant group-by-time interaction on normalized speed thresholds were found. Individuals with mTBI showed smaller training gains at visit 2 than healthy controls, but the groups did not differ on the remaining visits. Although youth can significantly improve their 3D-MOT performance following mTBI, similar to noninjured individuals, they show slower speed of processing in the first few training sessions. This preliminary work suggests that using a 3D-MOT paradigm to train visual perception after mTBI may be beneficial for both stimulating recovery and informing return to activity decisions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention
  • Brain Concussion / psychology
  • Brain Concussion / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Visual Perception*