The distribution of coup and contre-coup contusions and subdural hematomas after frontal and occipital impacts has been studied in the rhesus monkey. The effect of skull fracture on these lesions is noted, and the data compared to known postmortem observations in man. The translation/cavitation theory for brain injury as presently conceived is not supported by these data. The skull distortion and head rotation hypothesis offers opportunities for developing a better theory for brain injury by direct as well as indirect impact. The significance of these observations for design of protective devices is briefly discussed.
Keywords: brain injuries; contre-coup injury; mechanics; safety standards; accident prevention