Journal of Undergraduate Research


multimodal testing, neural interhemispheric transfer, concussion


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, is a public health concern that is receiving considerable attention in the media and scientific literature. Individuals who experience long-term deficits after concussion show cognitive and emotional dysfunction that can persist or worsen for several years post injury. These deficits can be associated with an increase of fifty percent in medical costs following injury and result in damage to family relationships, employment, and school performance. Currently, there are inadequate numbers of health professionals trained in the accurate diagnosis and identification of predictors of longterm problems following concussion. Furthermore, techniques to identify individuals with persistent symptoms following concussion are sparse and tainted by external motivations. Thus, the purpose of the current mentored learning environment was the training of students in rigorous and cutting-edge research techniques to understand concussion as well as improving our understanding of cost-effective measures that accurately identify individuals who have experienced a concussion. We feel that during the course of this mentored learning experience we accomplished our goals by: 1) immersing undergraduate students in cutting-edge technology and accurate information to understand concussion, and, 2) utilizing physiological measures, including electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to determine if these indices are sensitive to the initial effects of concussion. Students were exposed to both EEG and MRI experiences with individuals who experienced a concussion within the first three weeks after the concussion and again approximately nine months after the concussion. Undergraduate students received exposure and training on cutting-edge MRI technology where we examined the volume of the corpus callosum, a white matter structure that connects the two hemispheres of the brain and is susceptible to concussion, and EEG where students applied electrodes that directly measured the time of interhemispheric transfer of information across the corpus callosum in milliseconds.

Included in

Psychology Commons