The Soccer 'head Bash' may Affect Your Mental Ability

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on Mar 4 2013 2:00 PM

 The Soccer `head Bash` may Affect Your Mental Ability
'Heading' the soccer ball may affect performance in cognitive tasks, states research.
Anne Sereno and colleagues from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston tested the effects of non-injurious head-to-ball impacts on cognitive function using a tablet-based app.

They found that high school female soccer players were significantly slower than non-players on a task that required pointing away from a target on the screen, but showed no difference in performance when pointing to the on-screen visual target.

According to the study, tasks that involve pointing away from a target require specific voluntary responses, whereas moving toward a target is a more reflexive response.

Based on their observations, the researchers concluded that sub-concussive blows to the head might cause changes specifically linked to certain cognitive functions.

They said that the app used in their research might be a quick and effective way to screen for and track cognitive changes in athletes. They add that a tablet-based application for such quick screens may also have broader applications in the clinic or the field.

The finding was published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.