Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Joel Bish


Concussions are associated with various types of consequences, both short-term and long-term: ranging from acute symptomatology, resting protocols, return-to-play decisions, and the lingering effects that have been found to have significant impacts on cognitive processes and function in many individuals several months post-concussion. Previous research has demonstrated that certain dimensions of executive function are especially susceptible to mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), specifically working memory and attention. Studies that have previously utilized electroencephalography (EEG), have found that increased very low frequency oscillations (VLFO) are associated with a disruption of goal-oriented activities, difficulties in cognition, hyperactivity, and inattention in concussed individuals after mTBI. This study employed continuous EEG during a letter number sequencing task on concussed and non-concussed individuals to assess deficits related to working memory and attention. It was hypothesized that concussed student athletes would display greater VLFO and decreased accuracy during the Millisecond Letter Number Sequencing Task. Results of this study showed evidence of a variance in the theta/beta ratio during the letter number reordering span in concussed individuals as well as shorter forward and overall span; Allowing for the conclusion that concussed individuals may be suffering from long-term deficits to their attentive and working memory brain networks in the form of inappropriate resource recruitment, compensation mechanisms, and in turn increased cognitive effort shown through a variance in VLFOs.


Presented during the 22nd Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 24, 2020 at Ursinus College.

This research was funded by the Ursinus College Psychology Department.

The downloadable file is a poster presentation with an audio commentary run time of 4:58.

The final project is available here.

Open Access

Available to all.