Publication Date

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Emily H. Wughalter


Henry and Rogers, Memory drum theory, Mouth guard, Movement complexity, Simple reaction time, Whole body movement

Subject Areas

Kinesiology; Biomechanics; Physical education


The purpose of the study was to determine how use of a mouth guard and movement complexity affect simple reaction time. The experiment consisted of three prescribed whole body movements of varying complexity. Participants were 12 college aged males who were free from injury and had some experience playing sports. Reaction time was determined using ground reaction force data and video data. A two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures on both factors revealed no significant mouth guard effect. A significant movement complexity effect resulted in longer reaction times for a high complexity movement than for low and moderate complexity movements. A significant interaction effect resulted in shorter reaction times on the low and moderate complexity movements when wearing a self-adapted mouth guard than when not wearing a mouth guard. Further research will be required to replicate the results of the current study and to apply them to practice.