Original research|Articles in Press

Computerized and functional reaction time in varsity-level female collegiate athletes with and without a concussion history



      To 1) determine the association between computerized and functional reaction time, and 2) compare functional reaction times between female athletes with and without a concussion history.


      Cross-sectional study.


      Twenty female college athletes with concussion history (age = 19.1 ± 1.5 years, height = 166.9 ± 6.7 cm, mass = 62.8 ± 6.9 kg, median total concussion = 1.0 [interquartile range = 1.0, 2.0]), and 28 female college athletes without concussion history (age = 19.1 ± 1.0 years, height = 172.7 ± 8.3 cm, mass = 65.4 ± 8.4 kg). Functional reaction time was assessed during jump landing and dominant and non-dominant limb cutting. Computerized assessments included simple, complex, Stroop, and composite reaction times. Partial correlations investigated the associations between functional and computerized reaction time assessments while covarying for time between computerized and functional reaction time assessments. Analysis of covariance compared functional and computerized reaction time, covarying for time since concussion.


      There were no significant correlations between functional and computerized reaction time assessments (p-range = 0.318 to 0.999, partial correlation range = −0.149 to 0.072). Reaction time did not differ between groups during any functional (p-range = 0.057 to 0.920) or computerized (p-range = 0.605 to 0.860) reaction time assessments.


      Post-concussion reaction time is commonly assessed via computerized measures, but our data suggest computerized reaction time assessments are not characterizing reaction time during sport-like movements in varsity-level female athletes. Future research should investigate confounding factors of functional reaction time.


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