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A Concussion may take you out of the game, but what does it mean for your working memory capacity?

May 1st, 2013 10 comments

In the world of athletics, there has been a significant increase of awareness and concern around concussions. With contact sports, athletes are vulnerable to sports-related concussions of varying degrees. Athletic trainers are very sensitive when it comes to diagnosing a concussion, given that any injury to the brain is substantial and should not be overlooked. As an athlete myself, I have witnessed many teammates experience concussions, who have not been able to participate in any sort of physical activity. If concussions have such an impact on an individual’s athletics, one may suspect that such repercussions extend to other aspects of an individual’s life. This article further investigates the impact of sports-related head contacts on working memory capacity.

Working Memory refers to a short-term store that is relevant to the performance of a cognitive task in an activated state. Working memory is crucial to overall cognitive ability and requires a level of attention that ensures memory will be maintained in spite of interference or distractions. Working memory becomes important for an athlete’s optimal performance and physical safety because he or she must focus his/her attention on the game and likewise, maintain task relevant information during distracting events that happen on the field.

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