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Poster B78

Decreased working memory capacity in the chronic phase of concussion

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Amaya Fox1 (, Hannah Filmer1, Paul Dux1; 1The University of Queensland

Despite increasing recognition of the significance of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury, mTBI), the long-term cognitive outcomes following injury remain poorly understood. To date, studies exploring cognitive performance in the chronic stage of mTBI remain inconclusive. Some limitations within this literature include the use of measures that lack sensitivity to detect subtle cognitive impacts of mTBI and failure to consider individual differences in cognitive outcomes. Additionally, while it is well documented that a significant number of injuries go unreported, studies investigating individuals with a history of mTBI that capture these unreported injuries remain lacking compared to hospital-based samples. In this preregistered study, we used a range of complex behavioural tasks to investigate cognitive performance in a large sample of individuals with self-reported history of mTBI (n=82) and a control group (n=88). We also explored whether individual differences in injury-related factors predict cognitive performance in the mTBI group. The findings revealed poorer verbal working memory performance in mTBI participants compared to controls. No group differences were observed on tasks assessing visual working memory, multitasking ability, cognitive flexibility, attentional control, visuospatial ability, or information processing speed. Furthermore, the individual differences analyses suggest that factors such as time since injury, age when the injury occurred, and length of unconsciousness may predict performance on verbal working memory, multitasking, and visuospatial ability measures. Overall, these findings indicate that mTBI may have lasting impacts on verbal working memory ability and highlight the importance of using sensitive, complex measures to investigate cognitive outcomes following injury.

Topic Area: EXECUTIVE PROCESSES: Working memory


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April 13–16  |  2024