Modulation of Feedback-Related Negativity in Individuals with a History of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Farrell, Kelly
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University of Delaware
Recent studies have shown that traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause disruptions in cognitive processing and emotion regulation for weeks or longer after the initial accident. Most of this work has focused on severe injuries, which are less common but can produce more pronounced post-concussion symptoms. In comparison, very little research has been done on mild TBI (mTBI) – which makes up more than three-fourths of total head injuries – resulting in a clinical profile that is unclear. The current study sought to expand on past research demonstrating disrupted error monitoring in individuals with mTBI in order to determine whether external, as well as internal, feedback processing systems are influenced by mild head injury. A group of participants with a history of one or more mild concussions, as defined by the Department of Defense’s concussion severity scale, and a group of healthy control participants were recruited to participate in a 5 Doors task in order to compare mean feedback-related negativity (FRN) amplitudes. Results revealed that participants with a history of mTBI had significantly smaller feedback-related negativity (FRN) amplitudes than did control participants, which indicates that external feedback processing may be altered as a result of even mild head injury. These results can help to explain some of the emotional and behavioral symptoms that are described as a “post-concussive syndrome”; an area with implications for concussion research and rehabilitation.
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE::Morphology, cell biology, pathology::Cell biology::Neuroscience , Brain Science , Neuroscience