A Preliminary Report on the Effects of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury on Spatial Attention


The objective of this investigation was to measure subtle disturbances in information processing after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) for spatially presented stimuli as compared to a sample of control participants. Participants completed a temporal order judgment task requiring the correct identification of the order of two asynchronously presented stimuli that were precued either by a peripheral or central cue. Point of subjective simultaneity (PSS) scores demonstrated a dissociation in spatial attentional control. Specifically, deficits for the group with mild TBI were observed for peripheral cues, while volitional attentional control during the centrally cued task was spared, when compared with controls. These data suggest that peripheral distraction strongly captures attention, possibly making disengagement from that location difficult, whereas directed and volitional control over attention is largely spared, as indicated by indistinguishable PSS scores when compared with healthy controls after central cues.

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