Eye Tracking: Objective Assessment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth Athletes (2020-2021)

This project team examined how head impact exposure may contribute to observable deficits in oculomotor response that can be tracked and used for diagnostic purposes. Building on the work of previous teams, team members assessed local youth athletes with an oculomotor assessment routine that includes reflexive (pro-saccades), anti-saccades and memory-guided saccades, and compare these data to in-season documentation of concussions and levels of impact/practice exposure.

Quantification of head impact exposure experienced by participants required the use of questionnaires and an earpiece sensor (DASHR) developed at Duke. The sample population included youth athletes from five years of age to the high school level.

This was be the sixth year of an ongoing longitudinal study. On a yearly basis, the team has observed a relatively low number of concussions within the study population. However, tracking and combining data on concussed individuals over multiple years will continue to strengthen the team’s ability to ascertain differences between concussed and non-concussed populations across multiple ages and levels of play.


Summer 2020 – Spring 2021

Team Outputs

Manuscript (in progress)

Conference presentation


Wesley Pritzlaff

This Team in the News

The Test and the Tackle: A New Way to Measure Head Injury in Youth Football

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2021

What We’re Getting Out of Our Bass Connections Teams

Staying Close to Students Despite Distance

Senior Spotlight: Reflections from the Class of 2023

See related teams, Eye Tracking: Objective Assessment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Youth Athletes (2021-2022) and Oculomotor Response as an Objective Assessment for Mild TBI in the Pediatric Population (2019-2020).


Image: Youth Football, by Jamie Williams, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0


Team Leaders

  • Cameron Bass, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Bruce Capehart, Durham VA Medical Center
  • Jason Luck, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Adam Mehlenbacher, School of Medicine-Head and Neck Surgery and Communication Sciences

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Arjun Lakhanpal, Economics (BS)
  • Jacob Zilkha, Economics (BS)
  • Samith Venkatesh, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Arthi Vaidyanathan, Biology (BS)
  • Alexandra Putka, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Wesley Pritzlaff, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Melanie Pearce, Biology (BS)
  • Varun Nukala, Neuroscience (BS)
  • Ayoub Mahdar, Biology (AB)
  • Patrick Liu, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Kristy Lieu, Neuroscience (AB)
  • Megan Christy, Biomedical Engineering (BSE)
  • David Kong, Biology (BS)
  • Caroline Howley, Economics (BS)
  • Carson Herman, Biology (BS)
  • Sydney Gaviser, Public Policy Studies (AB)
  • Alec Deakin, Neuroscience (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Jason Kait, Pratt School of Engineering-Biomedical Engineering
  • Jennifer Groh, Arts & Sciences-Psychology and Neuroscience

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Raleigh Revolution Middle School Youth Football
  • Durham Eagles Pop Warner Youth Football
  • Cardinal Gibbons High School