High-tech visualization of a brain
Sports-Related Concussion Project

Sport-related concussion defines a phenomenon of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that occurs within a sport context. For example, when a football quarterback suffers a hit from the blind side, and his head snaps back and forth before being smashed into the turf, the mechanics of a sport-related concussion have happened. Whether or not an actual brain trauma has occurred will be known only through observation, symptom report, and evaluation of cognition, balance, and coordination. In Florida Tech’s Sports-Related Concussion Project housed in the Neuropsychology Laboratory, Drs. Frank Webbe and Kevin Mulligan along with many graduate and undergraduate students attempt to answer several critical questions:

  • What are the most valid methods for determining that a sports-related concussion has occurred?
  • What role do preexisting conditions (such as LD and ADHD) have in occurrence of or recovery from sports-related concussion?
  • Why are some athletes concussion prone and others are not?
  • Why do some athletes take longer to recover from a similar traumatic event than other athletes?
  •  What role do sub-concussive events exert in acute risk for concussion and lifetime brain pathology ?

Undergraduate students have he opportunity to become involved in interesting studies such as these, learning more about the intricacies of the brain and how it controls behavior, and also seeing first-hand how sophisticated research is conducted. (They also may get to watch sports while working, which is pretty incredible.) Participation is available at an entry level (PSY2413) and would require 3-4 hours per week. At a more advanced level (PSY4413), students must commit 5-10 hours per week and be prepared to assist with data analysis and collection of data from research participants.

Please contact Dr. Frank Webbe for more information.

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