UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications


A resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging study of concussion in collegiate athletes

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry; Department of Neurology; Department of Sports Medicine; Department of Radiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Nervous System Diseases | Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychiatry | Radiology | Sports Medicine | Sports Sciences


Sports-related concussions are currently diagnosed through multi-domain assessment by a medical professional and may utilize neurocognitive testing as an aid. However, these tests have only been able to detect differences in the days to week post-concussion. Here, we investigate a measure of brain function, namely resting state functional connectivity, which may detect residual brain differences in the weeks to months after concussion. Twenty-one student athletes (9 concussed within 6 months of enrollment; 12 non-concussed; between ages 18 and 22 years) were recruited for this study. All participants completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task and the Color-Word Interference Test. Neuroimaging data, specifically resting state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data, were acquired to examine resting state functional connectivity. Two sample t-tests were used to compare the neurocognitive scores and resting state functional connectivity patterns among concussed and non-concussed participants. Correlations between neurocognitive scores and resting state functional connectivity measures were also determined across all subjects. There were no significant differences in neurocognitive performance between concussed and non-concussed groups. Concussed subjects had significantly increased connections between areas of the brain that underlie executive function. Across all subjects, better neurocognitive performance corresponded to stronger brain connectivity. Even at rest, brains of concussed athletes may have to 'work harder' than their healthy peers to achieve similar neurocognitive results. Resting state brain connectivity may be able to detect prolonged brain differences in concussed athletes in a more quantitative manner than neurocognitive test scores.

DOI of Published Version



Brain Imaging Behav. 2015 Jun;9(2):323-32. doi: 10.1007/s11682-014-9312-1. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Brain imaging and behavior

PubMed ID