The relationship among neurocognitive performances and biopsychosocial characteristics of elite National Football League draft picks: an exploratory investigation

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2013 Feb;

28(1):20-Sep.

Solomon, G. S., R. F. Haase and A. Kuhn.

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Abstract:

Sports neuropsychology has emerged as a specialty area within the field of clinical neuropsychology. The role of the sports neuropsychologist, rooted in baseline and post-concussion testing, has evolved to include other clinical domains, including the clinical assessment of potential draft picks. There is no published information on the neurocognitive characteristics of these draft picks. We sought to determine whether elite NFL draft picks differed from NFL roster athletes on neurocognitive (ImPACT) and biopsychosocial characteristics, and given that no published data exists for this population, adopted null hypotheses. Null hypotheses were rejected for two of the four ImPACT scores, as elite draft picks scored higher on measures of visual motor speed and reaction time than roster NFL athletes. Subtle but distinct neurocognitive differences are noted when comparing elite NFL draft picks with norms from a cumulative roster of a single NFL team.

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