Sports-related concussions occur in approximately 21% of college athletes with implications for long-term cognitive impairments in working memory. Working memory involves the capacity to maintain short-term information and integrate with higher-order cognitive processing for planning and behavior execution, critical skills for optimal cognitive and athletic performance. This study quantified working memory impairments in 36 American football college athletes (18–23 years old) using event-related potentials (ERPs). Despite performing similarly in a standard 2-back working memory task, athletes with history of concussion exhibited larger P1 and P3 amplitudes compared to Controls. Concussion History group latencies were slower for the P1 and faster for the N2. Source estimation analyses indicated that previously concussed athletes engaged different brain regions compared to athletes with no concussion history. These findings suggest that ERPs may be a sensitive and objective measure to detect long-term cognitive consequences of concussion.
- Event-related potentials (ERPs)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Working memory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Physiology (medical)