Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

First Advisor

Breanna Studenka

Second Advisor

Eadric Bressel

Abstract

Concussion in athletics has raised public interest as more is learned about the damage done to the athlete. Some of the current field methods of assessing concussion do not look at neuro-cognitive recover, which can remain impaired long after the symptoms of concussion have passed. Other direct methods of assessing concussion are extremely expensive and are not easily portable.

We created a new assessment for concussion that is relatively inexpensive and portable using non-linear time series analysis of performance on a visual-motor tracking task. Approximate entropy (ApEn) is a tool that enables us to calculate the structure of variability form these time series and gives insight into differences in visual-motor tracking ability not detected by other assessments.

In this study we assessed whether or not the ApEn values of visual-motor tracking changed in relation to the time that has passed since the participants last concussion. Additionally, we assessed if there were differences within the ApEn values between participants who have had multiple concussions throughout their lifetime and those who have only had one.

ApEn values were higher as more time passed since the most recent concussive event. ApEn values also were significantly lower between participants who had only sustained one concussion and those who had sustained >1 concussion.

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