Electrophysiological Correlates of Word Retrieval in Traumatic Brain Injury

Julie M. Fratantoni, Bambi L. Delarosa, Nyaz Didehbani, John Hart, Michael A. Kraut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Persons who have had a traumatic brain injury (TBI) often have word retrieval deficits; however, the underlying neural mechanisms of such deficits are yet to be clarified. Previous studies in normal subjects have shown that during a word retrieval task, there is a 750 msec event-related potential (ERP) divergence detected at the left fronto-temporal region when subjects evaluate word pairs that facilitate retrieval compared with responses elicited by word pairs that do not facilitate retrieval. In this study, we investigated the neurophysiological correlates of word retrieval networks in 19 retired professional athletes with TBI and 19 healthy control (HC) subjects. We recorded electroencephalography (EEG) in the participants during a semantic object retrieval task. In this task, participants indicated whether presented word pairs did (retrieval) or did not (non-retrieval) facilitate the retrieval of an object name. There were no significant differences in accuracy or reaction time between the two groups. The EEG showed a significant group by condition interaction over the left fronto-temporal region. The HC group mean amplitudes were significantly different between conditions, but the TBI group data did not show this difference, suggesting neurophysiological effects of injury. These findings provide evidence that ERP amplitudes may be used as a marker of disrupted semantic retrieval circuits in persons with TBI even when those persons perform normally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1021
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • EEG
  • ERP
  • sports concussion
  • traumatic brain injury
  • word retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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