Abstract

Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyze loss of consciousness (LOC) and number of times blasted (NOTB) as predictors on of processing speed with multiple regression and to conduct a one-way 8 factorial ANOVA of processing speed with LOC (yes or no) as the factor. Method: Marines and sailors from Camp Lejeune, NC were referred for neuropsychological evaluation to Carolina Psychological Heath Services. They were administered a neuropsychological battery comprised of 14 tests, including the processing speed measures used in this study: Grooved Pegboard dominant and non-dominant completion time, Trail making Test Parts A and B, and the WAIS-IV and WAIS-III Processing Speed and Symbol Search subtests. Exclusion criteria included obtaining sub-optimal scores on the CVLT Forced Choice (< 14, n = 39), or on TOMM Trial 2 and TOMM Retention (< 45, n = 60). A total of 635 individuals were included in the final sample. Results: Multiple regression analyses did not show LOC or NOTB to be significant predictors of the 8 processing speed criteria. However, NOTB was significantly correlated with WAIS-III Processing Speed, r = −.235, n = 71, p = .024, and LOC with Trails A, r = .128, n = 295, p = .014. No significant differences were found according to presence or absence of LOC on any of the eight processing speed measures. Conclusion(s): The results of this study suggest that, as number of times blasted increases, significant decreases on processing speed are not present. Furthermore, LOC does not seem to be a predictor of processing speed performance, nor does processing speed seem to be significantly different according to presence or absence of LOC in this military sample.