Athlete Health and Neuroscience Lab

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This NJ Commission on Brain Injury Research (NJCBIR) supported lab works with student athletes to understand risk for and recovery from sport-related concussion. Our studies focus on enhancing the mental and physical well-being of student athletes by bringing scientists and physicians together. The goals of our lab are to understand athletes mental and physical health characteristics and to carefully track symptom timelines after a head injury in an effort to improve understanding of the factors that may increase risk for more protracted recovery timelines.    

Research Aim(s): 

* To understand the prevalence and motivations for risky health behaviors, like hiding concussion symptoms and using drugs and alcohol, among student athletes.

* To examine the utility of objective, physiological indicators for identifying sports-related concussions, predicting recovery timelines, and informing return-to-activity decisions.

* To better utilize the information already available to physicians through advanced statistics to improve the accuracy of concussion detection, severity grading, and expected recovery timelines.

Active Research Projects: 

“Validating HRV as an objective clinical measure of TBI symptom severity and recovery to inform physicians' return-to-play decisions”, CBIR14IRG020, 6/2014 – 5/2018.


Recent Press and Presentations: 

Rothschild LF,  Ray AE, Conway F, Barnas P, Hoge L, Monaco R, Womack J, Buckman JF. Creating alcohol and drug use interventions that resonate with college athletes. Presented at the Society of Prevention Research conference, May 2015.

Ray AE, Monaco R, Rothschild LF,  Barnas P, Kastuar S, Womack JP, Conway F, Buckman JF. The relationship between concussion knowledge and beliefs about symptom reporting among NCAA athletes. Presented at the Society of Prevention Research conference, May 2015.

Monaco RM, Weismiller S, Buckman JF. Changes in balance assessments over time using the Biodex Biosway Portable System. Presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, April 2015.

Bates ME, Rothschild LF, Conway F, Monaco R, Ray AE, Barnas P, Hoge L, Buckman JF. Identifying risk for eating disorders upon student athletes entering college. Presented at the 2nd International Conference on Behavioral Addictions, March 2015.

Barnas P, Rothschild LF, Conway F, Ray AE, Monaco R, Hoge L, Kastuar S, Buckman JF. Marijuana and health in prospective NCAA student athletes. Presented at the Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction conference, March 2015.

Conway F, Rothschild LF, Monaco R, Buckman JF. Collaborative to reduce risk behaviors and enhance physical and psychological education of collegiate athletes. Presented at the American College Health Association conference,  May 2014.

Womack J, Monaco RM, Buckman JF. Concussion knowledge and symptom reporting among college athletes.  Presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine  conference, April 2014.

Barnas P, Rothschild LF, Monaco R, Womack J, Buckman JF. College athletes overestimate marijuana use among college and professional athletes. Presented at the Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction conference, February 2014.

Buckman, JF. Social Norms and Legal Trends: Marijuana Use Among Student Athletes. Presented at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) convention, January 2013.

Training Offered: 

The lab is NOT currently accepting graduate students or research assistants.

Core Faculty: Jennifer F. Buckman, PhD
Affiliated Faculty: Brandon Alderman, Ph.D. (Dept of Kinesiology and Health)
Evgeny Vaschillo, Ph.D. (Center of Alcohol Studies)
Jason Womack, M.D. (Sports Medicine)
Post-doctoral Fellow: Fiona Conway, PhD 
Staff: Kyle Brostrand, A.T.C.