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Journal Article


Homayounpour M, Gomez NG, Vasavada AN, Merryweather AS. Ann. Biomed. Eng. 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2021, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and whiplash-associated disorder are the most common head and neck injuries and result from a sudden head or body acceleration. The head and neck injury potential is correlated with the awareness, level of muscle activation, and posture changes at the time of the perturbation. Environmental acoustic stimuli or a warning system can influence muscle activation and posture during a head perturbation. In this study, different acoustic stimuli, including Non-Directional, Directional, and Startle, were provided 1000 ms before a head impact, and the amplitude and timing of cervical muscle electromyographic (EMG) data were characterized based on the type of warning. The startle warning resulted in 49% faster and 80% greater EMG amplitude compared to the Directional and Non-Directional warnings after warning and before the impact. The post-impact peak EMG amplitudes in Unwarned trials were lower by 18 and 21% in the retraction and rebound muscle groups, respectively, compared to any of the warned conditions. When there was no warning before the impact, the retraction and rebound muscle groups also reached their maximum activation 38 and 54 ms sooner, respectively, compared to the warned trials. Based on these results, the intensity and complexity of information that a warning sound carries change the muscle response before and after a head impact and has implications for injury potential.

Language: en


mTBI; Directional acoustic warning; Muscle-activation; Neck muscle; Startle; Whiplash


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