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Developing a Novel Eye Tracking Paradigm to Assess Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Feasibility Study of the Bethesda Eye and Attention Measure (BEAM)

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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The Bethesda Eye and Attention Measure BEAM, a computer-based eye tracking paradigm, was designed to assess visual i.e., saccadic and manual i.e., button press reaction times to stimuli that appear on a screen. A developmental phase and two studies were conducted to assess the feasibility of the BEAM for the assessment of cognitive performance in humans with a history of mild TBI. It was determined that the BEAM could elicit multiple cognitive processes in a small sample N 11 of adult men and women without a history of brain injury. Orienting, alerting, executive, and gap effects were found in both visual and manual reaction times. The results suggest the BEAM is capable of assessing cognitive performance. Future studies comparing visual and manual reaction times between individuals and groups with and without a history of TBI are needed to evaluate the BEAMs viability as a clinical measure of cognitive impairment.

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