My research has focused on two areas of neuropsychology: Alzheimer’s disease and sports-related concussion. The major common thread has been pursuit of more objective and sensitive diagnostic instruments and procedures that fall within the confines of neuropsychology.
As Director of Research for the East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic for more than twenty-five years, I have had the opportunity to participate in projects that 1) aimed at improving diagnostic methods and 2) introduced assistive technology for caregivers of persons with dementia. In the former, we have beta tested several instruments and cross-validated them with existing tests so as to increase the sensitivity and specificity of diagnoses. Foremost among these was our locally produced Shepherd Older Adult Verbal Memory Test (SOAVMT). Regarding the second area, my collaboration with colleague Dr. S. Ann Becker resulted in development of a complete system for carers to enter information about their patient and have that information flow into a web application that was available to family and health-care professionals. My collaboration with Dr. A. Celeste Harvey resulted in projects that have employed methods from Applied Behavior Analysis to facilitate effective behaviors in persons with dementia, most notably in-home training of elderly carers in objective measurement of their patient. I have participated also in review projects on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association for assessing the effectiveness of technology applications with aging carers and/or persons with dementia. I was honored to be invited to deliver the keynote address for the 2013 Institute of the Alzheimer’s Association program for Everyday Technologies for Alzheimer Care (ETAC). I am a charter member and past chair of the Technology Professional Interest Area of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment (ISTAART). Over a seven-year period I gained a practical, societal perspective on AD research and treatment as member and chair (2012-2013) of the 10-person Florida State Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee.
I initiated my program of study in Sports-Related Concussion in the late 1980s with a focus on the role of soccer heading as a contributor to concussion risk and to neurocognitive impairment. This research effort was made possible only with the commitment and teamwork of my many student colleagues, including Adrienne Witol, Shelley Ochs, Christine Salinas, Adam Zimmer, Carlos Salazar, Alicia Kissinger-Knox, Nicole Norheim, Lauren Goworowski, and Andrew DaCosta; and faculty colleagues Tom Peake, Kevin Mulligan, and Anthony LoGalbo. Studies that I reported stemming from these efforts were contributory to initiating the discussion of the role of multiple sub-concussive impacts in later impairments in cognitive function. As more and more sport and league administrators were persuaded to adopt programs of concussion management my focus has evolved to evaluating and improving current methods for obtaining and verifying baseline cognitive function so that later post-trauma performances on these measures can be judged as deviating (or not) from the baseline. In addition to published articles of empirical research, I have contributed to the statement of the formal guidelines for the role of neuropsychology in this regard and edited The Handbook of Sports Neuropsychology. I am a charter member and fellow of the Sports Neuropsychology Society and served as treasurer and member of the executive board for six years.
As Florida Tech's Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA for many years, I assisted in assuring the quality of the student-athlete experience and in the University’s compliance with NCAA by-laws. I am Past President of the national Faculty Athletics Representatives Association, as well as former Vice-President of the Division II FARs. I was honored to participate in the Task Force on Student-Athlete Mental Health which focused the spotlight on mental and emotional challenges to student-athletes.
Careers have watershed moments that change or clarify focus. Mine occurred during a sabbatical year at University of Virginia Medical School where I had the privilege to receive mentoring from Jeff Barth and Donna Broshek. I owe much of my success of the past 20 years to them and to the learning environment that they created.
B.A. Psychology, University of Florida 1969
M.S. Psychology, University of Florida 1971
Ph.D. Psychology, University of Florida 1974
Frank Webbe earned his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Florida and completed postdoctoral training in teaching at UF and in psychopharmacology/neuroscience at the University of Mississippi. He is professor of psychology and behavior analysis at Florida Institute of Technology, research director of the East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic, and director of the Florida Tech Sport-Related Concussion Project and Concussion Management Program. In both the sport concussion domain and in the Alzheimer’s disease arena, his primary interest and concern is the identification of individuals who may be at the highest risk for cognitive impairments. This interest translates into studies that identify the factors – both environmental and individual – that contribute most to risk.
Dr. Webbe has studied standard and computerized methods of early assessment of Alzheimer’s disease, and in-home Applied Behavior Analysis interventions with family caregivers and Alzheimer’s patients. With colleague S. Ann Becker and support from the Alzheimer’s Association he also has studied the use of in-home technology for family caregivers.
He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology; fellow and charter member of the Sports Neuropsychology Society (and current treasurer and member of the executive board); past treasurer of the National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation Board of Trustees, and past Chair of the Technology Professional Interest Area of the International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment. Dr. Webbe also is a former president of the Society for Sport, Exercise, & Performance Psychology of the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Webbe was appointed in 2009 by Governor Charlie Crist to the 10-member Alzheimer’s Disease Advisory Committee of the State of Florida and reappointed to a second term by Governor Rick Scott in 2012. He chaired the Committee in 2013 and 2014. Dr. Webbe has served also for many years as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative at Florida Tech (NCAA Division II), and is past president of the national Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA).
A Florida native, Dr. Webbe enjoys the outdoors and especially loves running early in the morning.
Faculty Athletics Representative
Director of Research, East Central Florida Memory Disorder Clinic
Director of Concussion Management Program
PSY3423 Physiological Psychology
PSY5105 Biological Foundations of Behavior
PSY6527 Fundamentals of Clinical Neuropsychology
DaCosta, A., Crane, A., Roccaforte, A., Davies, M., Prewitt, D., Webbe, F., & LoGalbo, A. (2022). The General Ability Measure for Adults underrepresents true IQ in a high-functioning aviation population. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, published ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2021.2023155
Denny, A., Bartley, K., Edwards, S., Webbe, F., & LoGalbo, A. (2021). AD8 patient–informant discrepancy predicts insight and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease. Geriatric Nursing, 42(1), 262-267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gerinurse.2020.08.009
DaCosta, A., Webbe, F., & LoGalbo, A. (2021). The Rey Dot Counting Test as a tool for detecting suboptimal performance in athlete baseline testing. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 36(3), 414–423. https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acaa052.
LoGalbo, A., DaCosta, A., & Webbe, F. (2020). Comparison of the PHQ9 and ImPACT symptom cluster scores in measuring depression among college athletes. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2020.1805611.
DaCosta, A., Crane, A., Webbe, F., & LoGalbo, A. (2020). Change in balance performance predicts neurocognitive dysfunction and symptom endorsement in concussed college athletes. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 35(7), 1123–1130. https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acaa031.
Goworowski, L., Vagt, D., Salazar, C., Mulligan, K., & Webbe, F. (2020). Normative values of the Rey Word Recognition Test in a college-athlete sample. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 27(1), 94-100. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2018.1488716.
Kissinger-Knox, A., Norheim, N., & Webbe, F. (2020). The clinical utility of ImPACT rebaselines after return-to-play. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care, 12(4), 167-172. https://doi.org/10.3928/19425864-20190520-01
Kissinger-Knox, A., Norheim, N., Vagt, D., Mulligan, K., & Webbe, F. (2019). Baseline Concussion Symptom Scores Vary Between Interview and Computer Self-Report Only for Male College Athletes. International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training, 24(2), 64-69(doi.org/10.1123/ijatt.2018-0028)
Norheim, N., Kissinger-Knox, A., Cheatham, M.,& Webbe, F. (2018). Performance of College Athletes on the 10-item Word List of the SCAT5. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 4, e000412. (doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2018-000412)
Salazar. C., Mulligan, K. P., & Webbe, F. M. (2017). Updating the Rey Dot Counting Test for use in Collegiate Baseline Concussion Testing. Developmental Neuropsychology, 42(2), 83-92. (doi:10.1080/87565641.2017.1303701)
Love, C., Webbe, F., Kim, G., Lee, K., Westerveld, M., & Salinas, C. M. (2016). The Role of Executive Functioning in Quality of Life in Pediatric Intractable Epilepsy. Epilepsy and Behavior, 64, 37-43. (doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.08.018)
Salinas, C. M., Dean, P., LoGalbo, A., Dougherty, M., Field, M., & Webbe, F. M. (2016). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Status and Baseline Neurocognitive Performance in High School Athletes. Applied Neuropsychology – Child, 5(4), 264-272. (doi: 10.1080/21622965.2015.1052814)
Webbe, F. M., & Zimmer, A. (2015). History of neuropsychological study of sport-related concussion, Brain Injury. 29(2), 129-138. (doi:10.3109/02699052.2014.937746)
Zimmer, A., Marcinak, J., Hibyan, S., & Webbe, F. M. (2015). Normative Values of Major SCAT2 and SCAT3 Components for a College Athlete Population. Applied Neurosychology – Adult. 22(2), 132-140. (doi: 10.1080/23279095.2013.867265)
Webbe, F. M., & Salinas, C. M. (2013). It’s not just white male adults playing football and hockey: Sports neuropsychology with diverse athlete populations. Bulletin of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, 27(2), 23-27.
Zimmer, A., Piecora, K., Schuster, D., & Webbe, F. M. (2013). Sport and Team Differences on Baseline Measures of Sport-Related Concussion. Journal of Athletic Training, 48(5), 659-667. (doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.5.06)
Salinas, C. M., & Webbe, F. M. (2012). Sports neuropsychology in diverse athlete populations: Contemporary findings and special considerations. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 6, 363-384.
Mortimer, B. J. P., Zets, G. A., Cholewiak, R. W., & Webbe, F. M. (2011). Vibrotactile pattern perception as a method for the assessment of brain dysfunction. Proceedings of the 33rd IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Annual International Conference, Boston, MA.
Webbe, F. M. (2011). Sport neuropsychology and cerebral concussion. In J. K. Luiselli and D. D. Reed (Eds.), Behavioral Sport Psychology: Evidence-Based Approaches to Performance Enhancement (pp. 177-197). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Cummings, T., Webbe, F., & Puente, A. E. (2011). Alzheimer’s disease. In C. A. Noggle, R. S. Dean & A. M. Horton (Eds.). The encyclopedia of neuropsychological disorders (pp. 64-68). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F. M. (2010). Handbook of Sport Neuropsychology. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F. M. (2010). Introduction to sport neuropsychology. In F. M. Webbe (Ed.), Handbook of Sport Neuropsychology (pp. 1-16). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F. M. (2010). Future directions in sport neuropsychology. In F. M. Webbe (Ed.), Handbook of Sport Neuropsychology (pp. 383-393). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F. M., & Salinas, C. (2010). The relationship of soccer heading and neuropsychological functioning: When science and politics collide. In F. M. Webbe (Ed.), Handbook of Sport Neuropsychology (pp. 275-294). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F. M., & Salinas, C. (2010). Pediatric sport neuropsychology. In A. S. Davis (Ed.) Handbook of Pediatric Neuropsychology (pp. 1095-1109). New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F., Salinas, C., Quackenbush, K., & Tiedemann, S. (2010). Personality: Contributions to Performance, Injury Risk, and Rehabilitation. In C. T. Moorman, D. T. Kirkendall, & R. J. Echemendia (Eds.), Praeger Handbook of Sports Medicine and Athlete Health: [Three Volumes] (pp. 77-97). Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger Publishing Company.
Becker, S. A., & Webbe, F. M. (2010). A Study on Handheld Technology to Promote Better Living and Aging in Place for Older Adult Caregivers. Issues in Innovation, 1, 1-26.
Salinas, C., Webbe, F. M., & DeVore, T. (2009). The epidemiology of soccer heading in competitive youth players. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3, 15-33.
Wild, K., Howieson, D., Webbe, F., Seelye, A., & Kaye, J. (2008). The status of computerized cognitive testing in aging: A systematic review. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 4, 428-437.
Becker, S. A., & Webbe, F. M. (2008). The potential of hand-held assistive technology to improve safety for elder adults aging in place. In K Hendriksen, J. B. Battles, M. A. Keyes, & M. L. Grady (Eds.) Advances in Patient Safety: New Directions and Alternative Approaches: Vol. 4. Technology and Medication Safety. AHRQ Publication No. 08-0034-4. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality;
Becker, S. A., & Webbe, F. M. (2008). Emerging technologies for aging in place. In N. Wickramasinghe & E. Geisler (Eds.), Encyclopaedia of Healthcare Information Systems. Hershey, PA: Medical Information Science Reference, Inc.
Webbe, F. M., & Ochs, S. R. (2007). Personality Traits Relate to Heading Frequency in Male Soccer Players. Clinical Journal of Sport Psychology, 1, 379-389.
Moser, R. S., Iverson, G. L., Echemendia, R., Lovell, M., Schatz, P., Webbe, F. M., Ruff, R., & Barth, J. T. (2007). Neuropsychological testing in the diagnosis and management of sports-related concussion. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 22, 909-916.
Webbe, F. M. Sport neuropsychology. (2007). In A. M. Horton and D. Wedding (Eds.), The neuropsychology handbook, 3rd Edition. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Webbe, F. M., & Becker, S. A. (2007). Innovative Technology Offers a Helping Hand at Home. Care Advantage, 3, 20-22.
Mahoney, D., Purtilo, R., Webbe, F., Alwan, M., Barucha, A., Adlam, T., Jimison, H., Turner, B., & Becker, S. (2007). In home monitoring of persons with dementia: ethical guidelines for technology research and development. Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, 3, 217-226.
Becker, S. A., & Webbe, F. M. (2007.). A usability framework for the design of assistive technology to promote aging in place. Proceedings of the 2007 Information Resources Management Association International Conference, 522-525.
Becker, S. A., & Webbe, F. M. (2006). Designing for Older Adult Users of Handheld Technology. Proceedings of the 28th IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Annual International Conference. 3297-3300.
Lichtenberg, P. A., Johnson, A. S., Erlanger, D. M., Kaushik, T., Maddens, M. E., Imam, K., Barth, J., & Webbe, F. M. (2006). Enhancing cognitive screening in geriatric care: Use of an internet-based system. International Journal of Health Information Systems and Informatics, 1, 47-57.
Webbe, F. M. (2006). Definition, Physiology, and Severity of Cerebral Concussion. In R. J. Echemendia (Ed.), Sports Neuropsychology: Assessment and Management of Traumatic Brain Injury. New York: The Guilford Press.
Broshek, D. K., Kaushik, T., Freeman, J. R., Erlanger, D., Webbe, F. M., & Barth, J. T. (2005). Gender differences in outcome from sports-related concussion. Journal of Neurosurgery, 108(5), 856-863.
Webbe, F. M., & Barth, J. T. (2003). Short-term and long-term outcome of athletic closed head injuries. Clinics in Sports Medicine, 22, 577-592.
Webbe, F. M., & Ochs, S. R. (2003). Recency interacts with frequency of soccer heading to predict weaker neuro-cognitive performance. Applied Neuropsychology, 10, 31-41.
Witol, A. D. & Webbe, F. M. (2003). Soccer heading frequency predicts neuropsychology deficits. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 18(4), 397-417.
Erlanger, D., Kaushik, T., Cantu, R., Barth, J., Broshek, D., Freeman, J., & Webbe, F. (2003). Symptom-Based Assessment of Concussion Severity. Journal of Neurosurgery, 98(3), 477-484.
Recognition & Awards
Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Kappa Phi
Psi Chi National Honorary in Psychology
Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Blue Key National Leadership Society
Florida Tech Outstanding Service Award (1995)
Florida Tech Student Elected Teacher of the Year, School of Psychology (1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006)
Outstanding Young Man of America (1979)
Who's Who in America
Who's Who in the World
Who's Who in Frontier Science and Technology
Who's Who Among Human Services Professionals
Who's Who of Emerging Leaders in America
Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care
Who's Who Among America's Teachers
Who's Who in Science and Engineering
Most recently, Dr. Webbe's research in sport-related concussion has expanded to use that platform as the laboratory to investigate novel methods of detecting mild brain injury. Procedures based upon detection of haptic and other sensory stimuli by concussed individuals serve as the basis for assessing the adequacy of new technologies that might serve in both athletic and military contexts.
With colleague A. Celeste Harvey, his research with Alzheimer’s disease patients and their family caregivers has expanded to include the application of behavior analytic interventions to improve patient behavior and ease stress and burden in caregivers.
Research & Project Interests
Dr. Webbe has studied standard and computerized methods of early assessment of Alzheimer's disease, and also the impact Applied Behavior Analysis interventions on family caregivers and Alzheimer patients. With computer science colleague S. Ann Becker, and through grant support from the Alzheimer's Association and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, he demonstrated the feasibility of handheld assistive devices for the support of family caregivers.
Although he began investigating neuro-cognitive correlates of soccer heading in 1992, it was following a sabbatical at University of Virginia with Dr. Jeffrey Barth, that he more fully involved himself in a studying the neurocognitive correlates and implications of concussion in sport. The Florida Tech Sport-Related Concussion Project has allowed him to merge his twin interests of sport psychology and neuropsychology in the study of sport-related concussion. His overriding aim in this research is to understand and to communicate to athletes and coaches any negative effects of playing behaviors such as heading in soccer. His most recent work on sport concussion and on dementia has been published in the Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, Applied Neuropsychology, Journal of Neurosurgery and Clinics in Sports Medicine.