Journal of Undergraduate Research


electrophysiological testing, iterhemispheric transfer, mild traumatic brain injury


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




A key issue in mild traumatic brain injury (TBI; also known as concussion) research is the identification and validation of a cost-effective, physiological measure that accurately identifies individuals who have experienced a mild TBI, is robust against motivation difficulties, and aids in the prediction of which individuals will experience persisting cognitive or emotional side effects. Nearly two million cases of TBI occur each year (Langlois, Rutland-Brown, & Thomas, 2004). Mild TBI is considered a major health concern (Ragnarsson, 2002) and can be associated with some long-term functional deficits including memory decline and decreased job satisfaction (Carroll et al., 2004; Iverson, 2005). Attempts to accurately quantify and validate measures of mild TBI have proven difficult given the large variability in injury presentation, location, and severity. Damage to the corpus callosum, the largest white-matter bundle in the brain that connects the two cerebral hemispheres, is highly related to slowed processing speed and poor clinical outcomes following mild TBI (e.g., Bazarian et al., 2007). For example, Viano et al. (2005), in an innovative study of head impacts based on National Football League (NFL) player concussions, showed that, across all participants, the largest strain during impact occurred due to tensile forces on the corpus callosum. Despite these findings, no single physiological index assessing corpus callosum function has been directly tested to determine its utility in accurate classification and longer-term prognosis of individuals with mild TBI.