The effect of linguistic background on rapid number naming: implications for native versus non-native English speakers on sideline-focused concussion assessments

John Ross Rizzo, Todd E. Hudson, Prin X. Amorapanth, Weiwei Dai, Joel Birkemeier, Rosa Pasculli, Kyle Conti, Charles Feinberg, Jan Verstraete, Katie Dempsey, Ivan Selesnick, Laura J. Balcer, Steven L. Galetta, Janet C. Rucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To determine if native English speakers (NES) perform differently compared to non-native English speakers (NNES) on a sideline-focused rapid number naming task. A secondary aim was to characterize objective differences in eye movement behaviour between cohorts. Background: The King-Devick (KD) test is a rapid number-naming task in which numbers are read from left-to-right. This performance measure adds vision-based assessment to sideline concussion testing. Reading strategies differ by language. Concussion may also impact language and attention. Both factors may affect test performance. Methods: Twenty-seven healthy  NNES and healthy NES performed a computerized KD test under high-resolution video-oculography.  NNES also performed a Bilingual Dominance Scale (BDS) questionnaire to weight linguistic preferences (i.e., reliance on non-English language(s)). Results: Inter-saccadic intervals were significantly longer in  NNES (346.3 ± 78.3 ms vs. 286.1 ± 49.7 ms, p = 0.001), as were KD test times (54.4 ± 15.1 s vs. 43.8 ± 8.6 s, p = 0.002). Higher BDS scores, reflecting higher native language dominance, were associated with longer inter-saccadic intervals in  NNES. Conclusion: These findings have direct implications for the assessment of athlete performance on vision-based and other verbal sideline concussion tests; these results are particularly important given the international scope of sport. Pre-season baseline scores are essential to evaluation in the event of concussion, and performance of sideline tests in the athlete’s native language should be considered to optimize both baseline and post-injury test accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1690-1699
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Injury
Volume32
Issue number13-14
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 2018

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • King-Devick test
  • concussion
  • rapid number naming
  • saccades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Rizzo, J. R., Hudson, T. E., Amorapanth, P. X., Dai, W., Birkemeier, J., Pasculli, R., Conti, K., Feinberg, C., Verstraete, J., Dempsey, K., Selesnick, I., Balcer, L. J., Galetta, S. L., & Rucker, J. C. (2018). The effect of linguistic background on rapid number naming: implications for native versus non-native English speakers on sideline-focused concussion assessments. Brain Injury, 32(13-14), 1690-1699. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2018.1510543