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Interactions Between Stroop Test Performance and Startle Reactivity in College Students and Student-Athletes

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abstract
This research project investigated the acoustic startle response and cognitive task performance in college students and student-athletes with and without repetitive head impact (RHI) exposure through sports participation. The startle response is a measure of brainstem function, and prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a measure of sensorimotor gating. The purpose of this research was to ascertain whether there are any differences in startle responding and PPI between students and student-athletes with and without RHI exposure, and how the parameters of startle stimuli affect their performance on a visual computerized Stroop Test. It was predicted that student-athletes with RHI exposure would present with lower startle magnitude, reduced PPI, and poorer task performance relative to student-athletes without RHI exposure. The studies in this research did not find any significant differences in startle response magnitude or PPI between athlete types. An Accessory Stimulus Effect, or a speeding of reaction time with the concurrent presentation of auditory and visual stimuli, occurred in all participants on all congruent Stroop trials that presented a startle stimulus. There was a further reduction in response time on congruent Stroop trials with a prepulse stimulus preceding a startle stimulus, providing evidence for the modulation of task performance through prepulse stimuli.
subject
contributor
Sivakumar, Aparna (author)
Blumenthal, Terry D (committee chair)
Blumenthal, Terry D (committee member)
Rowland, Benjamin A (committee member)
Lack, Anna K (committee member)
Masicampo, Melissa LM (committee member)
date
2020-05-29T08:35:39Z (accessioned)
2020-05-29T08:35:39Z (available)
2020 (issued)
degree
Neuroscience – MS (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/96792 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
Interactions Between Stroop Test Performance and Startle Reactivity in College Students and Student-Athletes
type
Thesis

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