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cognitive load, female, long-term, motor load, mTBI, reaching, upper extremity, visual attention


Aim: We examined the long-term effects of concussions in young adult females on visuomotor behavior during a visually-guided reaching task of various complexities. Materials & methods: 20 females with a history of longer than 6 months since a concussion and 20 healthy females quickly and accurately performed a delayed reach to a previously cued target. Results: As both cognitive and motor load increased, task performance decreased for both groups (p < 0.05). However, contrary to our primary hypothesis, no differences in task performance were found between the two experimental groups (p > 0.05). Conclusion: The young adult females with a remote history of concussion demonstrated no deficits in visuomotor behavior on an attention-mediated reaching task as compared with control participants.

Lay abstract: Current literature is inconclusive regarding the long-term effects of concussion. Some have argued that the differing results are due to many uncontrolled factors in study design. In this study, 20 females with a history of concussion more than 6 months ago and 20 healthy females performed a reaching task under different levels of difficulty. As the reaching task got harder, both groups had greater difficulty doing the task quickly and accurately (p < 0.05). Surprisingly, however, no differences in reaching performance existed between the two groups (p > 0.05). Young adult females with a remote history of concussion demonstrated no greater problems with complicated reaching tasks when compared with control participants when experimental conditions are tightly controlled.

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