Macquarie University
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A preliminary study into the utility of a portable, commercial grade EEG system for use in sports: effects of exercise and implications for sports related concussion

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posted on 2022-10-14, 02:01 authored by Melissa Tan

Concussion is a brain injury and is defined as a “complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by biomechanical forces.” Concussion diagnosis is problematic and is currently a highly subjective clinical decision based on presenting signs and symptoms. Current assessment concussion assessment techniques are deficient. Neuropsychological tests, whilst portable, have problems with sensitivity, reliability, and susceptibility to athlete tampering. Imaging techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG) are sensitive to structural and functional brain changes due to concussion but are not suitable fieldside tests. The Emotiv EPOC+ is a portable EEG recording system that was tested in this study. Firstly, a comparison of the EPOC+ to a Biosemi system showed that like the research-grade Biosemi system, EPOC+ can record a steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) response to flickering (15Hz) stimuli. Secondly, the method developed for testing SSVEP response using EPOC+ showed no significant change in response when testing was carried out before and after high intensity exercise. The current study highlights the advantage of using portable EEG over neuropsychological testing and sets a platform for the development of a new concussion assessment tool.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 -- Chapter 2 – Validation of the Emotiv EPOC+ (Experiment 1) -- Chapter 3 – Variability of EEG data with Exercise (Experiment 2) -- Chapter 4 – General Discussion -- Chapter 5 – Summary and Future Directions -- References -- Appendix


A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF RESEARCH

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences, 2021

Department, Centre or School

Department of Cognitive Science

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Paul Sowman

Additional Supervisor 1

Stephney Whillier


Copyright: Melissa Tan Copyright disclaimer:




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