Investigation of the changes in oscillatory power during task switching after mild traumatic brain injury


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) can cause persistent cognitive changes. These cognitive changes may be due to changes in neural communication. Task‐switching is a cognitive control operation that may be susceptible to mTBI and is associated with oscillations in theta (4–7 Hz), alpha (8–13 Hz), and beta (14–30 Hz) ranges. This study aimed to investigate oscillatory power in response to cues indicating a task‐switch after mTBI. Electroencephalogram and behavioral data were collected from 21 participants with a history of two or more concussions (mTBI) and 21 age‐ and gender‐matched controls as they performed a task‐switching paradigm. Participants differentiated whether visual stimuli were red or green, or circles or squares, depending on a cue. The cue changed every few trials with the first trial after a rule change being termed a switch trial. The mTBI group showed significantly less overall accuracy during the task. Over a posterior parietal region, the mTBI group showed more theta desynchronization than the control group from ~300 to ~600 ms post‐cue during switch trials and from ~300 to 400 ms during maintain trials, along with less alpha and beta desynchronization than the control group from ~2,000 to ~2,200 ms post‐cue. In a right parietal region, the mTBI group showed less alpha and beta desynchronization from ~525 to ~775 ms post‐cue. However, there was no condition × group interaction in the behavior or oscillatory results. These oscillatory differences suggest a change in neural communication is present after mTBI that may relate to global changes in task performance.



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European Journal of Neuroscience



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