Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Randall Wight

Second Reader

Mrs. Maddie Myers-Burg

Third Reader

Dr. Terry DeWitt


The current meta-analysis investigates the differences in neuroplasticity between women and men after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Research on the differences in neuroplasticity between women and men is relatively new and few studies have reported outcome variables by gender after TBIs. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and change particularly because of learning or brain injuries. TBI is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide; because of this, learning more about these differences can give scientists and clinicians more information on how to better treat people with brain injuries. Current research is inconsistent on whether there is a difference in outcome between women and men after a TBI; therefore, a meta-analysis was performed with eight studies. The outcome variables in this study included the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) which measures the level of consciousness, Grooved Pegboard which measures motor functioning, Trails A and Trails B which measure attention and cognitive flexibility, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) perseverative error scores which measure executive functioning. The means, standard deviations, and sample sizes were recorded. There was a significant difference in attention, cognitive flexibility, and executive functioning with men scoring worse. There was no significant difference in level of consciousness or motor functioning. Differences in neuroplasticity could be due to differences in behavior rather than biological differences in sex which could help explain the inconsistencies in results between previous studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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