Stanford using new technology and game-like conditions to analyze concussions
San Francisco Chronicle / 11-21-12
Stanford researchers have turned the school's football practices into a living laboratory in an effort to understand the mechanics of what happens to the head and neck when a head injury occurs.
The hope is that once researchers determine what forces cause a concussion, they can start improving sports equipment and rules to reduce injuries.
For their research, scientists have placed sensors on the athletes' helmets and have been filming them in action with high-definition, super-slow-motion cameras to monitor the speed the head is traveling before and after impact.
The players also wear special mouth guards with accelerometers and gyrometers embedded in them that gauge the linear and rotational acceleration of the head during a hit.
"... it is not just helmet-to-helmet contact that can jar the head. A shoulder-to-chest tackle can jolt the head backward, and the resulting impact with the ground can whip the head again, causing high levels of lateral and rotational movement."