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Table 2 Studies investigating the effects of visual and sensorimotor performance on concussion risks

From: The Effects of Anticipation and Visual and Sensory Performance on Concussion Risk in Sport: A Review

  Participants Assessments Relationships between visual and sensory performance and head impacts Findings Limitations
   Visual and sensory measure Linear head acceleration Rotational head acceleration HIT severity profile Head impact frequency   
 Harpham et al. [57] 38 Div I college American Football players
(20.4 ± 1.4 years; 190.2 ± 6.7 cm; 109.3 ± 17.8 kg)
Nike SPARQ sensory station
Head Impact Telemetry system
General linear mixed models to test relationship between visual performance and impact severity
Visual clarity (SVA)
Contrast sensitivity
Depth perception
Near-far quickness
Target capture (DVA)
Perception span
Eye-hand coordination
Go/No go decision making
Reaction time

↓ Risk
↓ Risk
↓ Risk


↓ Risk
↓ Risk



↓ Risk
↓ Risk
↓ Risk
↓ Risk
↓ Risk
↓ Risk
N/A N/A High performers on certain assessments were at lower risk of concussion Small convenience sample: various player positions, single team, 1 playing season
Arbitrary cut-offs for ‘high’ and ‘low’ performers on Nike SPARQ station
 Schmidt et al. [58] 37 male high school American Football players
(16.59 ± 0.89 years; 180.35 ± 6.39 cm; 87.18 ± 19.03 kg)
Nike SPARQ sensory station
Head Impact Telemetry
Assessed odd ratios for sustaining moderate and severe head impacts
Visual clarity (SVA)
Contrast sensitivity
Depth perception
Near-far quickness
Target capture (DVA)
Perception span
Eye-hand coordination
Go/No go decision making
Reaction time








↑ Odds2








↑ Odds2



↑ Odds1




↑ Odds1
N/A Using a median split to classify high and low performers, higher performers did not reduce the odds of sustaining high-magnitude impacts Small convenience sample: various player positions, single team, 1 playing season
Arbitrary cut-offs for ‘high’ and ‘low’ performers on Nike SPARQ station
 Kiefer et al. [53] 12 male high school ice hockey players
(16.50 ± 1.17 years; 177.79 ± 6.83 cm; 70.32 ± 7.19 kg)
Oculomotor performance
Head acceleration
3 tasks:
- Prosaccade task
- Self-paced saccade task
- Smooth pursuit task
Prosaccade latency
Prosaccade latency variability
Self-paced saccade velocity
Self-paced saccade initial error
Medium-speed smooth pursuit latency
Medium-speed smooth pursuit gaze velocity variability
Fast-speed smooth pursuit gaze velocity variability
N/A N/A N/A
↓ Risk
↑ Risk


↓ Risk
More variable oculomotor reaction time, faster saccadic eye motion and more variable gaze velocity when following a predictable target trajectory were related to an increased risk of head impacts
Higher variability of saccade latency and smooth pursuit tracking may indicate a lack of attention to task-relevant visual cues necessary to avoid collisions
There were no changes in concussion risk when accounting for accuracy of the self-paced saccade task
Small convenience sample: various player positions, single team, 1 playing season
Combination of anticipated and unanticipated hits analysed; no analysis of whether the impact was anticipated or not
  1. 1For moderate (HITsp: 11.7–15.7) and severe (HITsp: ≥ 15.7) head impacts
  2. 2For moderate (HITsp: 11.7–15.7) head impacts, but only tended to increase the odds
  3. DVA dynamic visual acuity
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