Poster D45, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Investigation of the changes in oscillatory power during rule switching after mild traumatic brain injury
Stephanie Barlow1, Paolo Medrano1, Daniel Seichepine2, Robert Ross1; 1University of New Hampshire, 2University of New Hampshire-Manchester
Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can cause persistent cognitive changes years after the injury. These cognitive changes may be due to changes in neural communication. Rule-switching is a cognitive control operation susceptible to mTBI and is associated with oscillations in the alpha frequency range (8-12 Hz). This study aimed to investigate oscillatory power during rule switching after mTBI. EEG and behavioral data was collected from eleven participants with a history of two or more concussions (mTBI) and twelve age- and sex-matched controls as they performed a rule-switching task. The participants were asked to differentiate whether visual stimuli were red or green, or circles or squares, depending on a presented cue. The cue changed every few trials and the first trial after a rule-change was termed a switch trial. During switch trials, a right posterior inferior region showed a significant difference in alpha oscillatory power between mTBI and matched controls. The control group showed greater alpha power around 1000ms post-cue, though alpha was present in the mTBI group. Though the mTBI group showed lower alpha power, that power was sustained between 1000-1400ms post cue and was greater around 1400ms post cue. There were no differences in response time or accuracy during switch trials, which may be attributed to the sustained duration of alpha seen in the mTBI group. The sustained alpha power seen in mTBI participants may be a compensatory mechanism to maintain rule-switching ability despite the initial lessened alpha power seen during switch trials.
Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Goal maintenance & switching