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Neuropsychologia. 1994 Jun;32(6):649-62.

Persistent visuospatial attention deficits following mild head injury in Australian Rules football players.

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Department of Psychology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Erratum in

  • Neuropsychologia 1995 May;33(5):659.


The ability to direct visuospatial attention covertly was studied in two groups of Australian Rules football players who had sustained mild head injuries (MHI) during competition. Their performance was compared to 12 non-injured sportsmen using a cued reaction time (RT) task which measured the RT benefit of valid directional cueing and the RT cost of miscueing. In Experiment 1, nine footballers tested within 2 weeks of sustaining their injury showed the same cost as normals in speed of response to targets in the unexpected visual field. However, their responses to targets in the expected location (following valid cues) showed only a minor benefit compared to controls. Moderate to severely injured patients also show a normal cost but a reduced or absent benefit (Cremona-Meteyard and Geffen, Neuropsychologia 30, 123-132, 1992). When subjects were retested 1 year later their pattern of performance had not altered but overall RT had improved. Experiment 2 replicated these findings in another eight footballers tested at least 1 year after sustaining their MHI. A persistent consequence of MHI might be an inability to take action quickly in response to expected events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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