Long-term effects of concussion on electrophysiological indices of attention in varsity college athletes: An event-related potential and standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography approach

Patrick S. Ledwidge, Dennis L. Molfese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effects of a past concussion on electrophysiological indices of attention in college athletes. Forty-four varsity football athletes (22 with at least one past concussion) participated in three neuropsychological tests and a two-tone auditory oddball task while undergoing high-density event-related potential (ERP) recording. Athletes previously diagnosed with a concussion experienced their most recent injury approximately 4 years before testing. Previously concussed and control athletes performed equivalently on three neuropsychological tests. Behavioral accuracy and reaction times on the oddball task were also equivalent across groups. However, athletes with a concussion history exhibited significantly larger N2 and P3b amplitudes and longer P3b latencies. Source localization using standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography indicated that athletes with a history of concussion generated larger electrical current density in the left inferior parietal gyrus compared to control athletes. These findings support the hypothesis that individuals with a past concussion recruit compensatory neural resources in order to meet executive functioning demands. High-density ERP measures combined with source localization provide an important method to detect long-term neural consequences of concussion in the absence of impaired neuropsychological performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2081-2090
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2016



  • adult brain injury
  • cognitive function
  • electrophysiology
  • neuropsychology
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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