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Discovering Oculometric Patterns to Detect Cognitive Performance Changes in Healthy Youth Football Athletes

  • Gaurav N. PradhanEmail author
  • Jamie M. Bogle
  • Michael J. Cevette
  • Jan Stepanek
Research Article
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

In this paper, we focus on the application of oculometric patterns extracted from raw eye movements during a mental workload task to assess changes in cognitive performance in healthy youth athletes over the course of a typical sport season. Oculometric features pertaining to fixations and saccades were measured on 116 athletes in pre- and post-season testing. Participants were between 7 and 14 years of age at pre-season testing. Due to varied developmental rates, there were large interindividual performance differences during a mental workload task consisting of reading numbers. Based on different reading speeds, we classified three profiles (slow, moderate, and fast) and established their corresponding baselines for oculometric data. Within each profile, we describe changes in oculomotor function based on changes in cognitive performance during the season. To visualize these changes in multidimensional oculometric data, we also present a multidimensional visualization tool named DiViTo (diagnostic visualization tool). These experimental, computational informatics and visualization methodologies may serve to utilize oculometric information to detect changes in cognitive performance due to mild or severe cognitive impairment such as concussion/mild traumatic brain injury, as well as possibly other disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, learning/reading disabilities, impairment of alertness, and neurocognitive function.

Keywords

Cognitive performance Oculometrics Concussion Eye tracking Multidimensional patterns Pre- and post-season 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge Dr. Samantha Kleindienst, Dr. David Dodick, Dr. Jennifer Wethe, Dr. Amaal Starling, and the entire Youth Athlete Study Team for facilitating and coordinating the data collection sessions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

One or more of the investigators associated with this project and Mayo Clinic have a financial interest related to this research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aerospace Medicine and Vestibular Research LaboratoryMayo Clinic ArizonaScottsdaleUSA

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