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Table of Contents
Vol. 49, No. 4, 2003
Issue release date: July – August
Section title: Experimental Section
Gerontology 2003;49:225–232
(DOI:10.1159/000070402)

Interaction between Attention Demanding Motor and Cognitive Tasks and Static Postural Stability

Weeks D.L.a · Forget R.b · Mouchnino L.c · Gravel D.b · Bourbonnais D.b
aDepartmentof Physical Therapy, Regis University, Denver, Colo., USA; bMontreal Rehabilitation Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; cFaculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Experimental Section

Received: November 25, 2001
Accepted: July 15, 2002
Published online: June 13, 2003
Issue release date: July – August

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Background: Due to the often-reported decrease in postural stability in the elderly, it is important to understand factors that may contribute to reduced postural stability. It is possible that attention-demanding focal tasks performed concurrent with postural regulation influence postural stability. Objective: This study utilized dual-task methodology to determine if motor or cognitive focal tasks interact with center of pressure (COP) excursion during static bipedal stance in healthy young and healthy elderly subjects (n = 18). Methods: The cognitive task involved silently solving an orally-presented multi-step arithmetic problem over a 30-second period. The motor task was a 30-second bilateral static finger-thumb pinch task performed at 10% of maximal voluntary contraction with a pair of pinch-force transducers. Each focal task was performed separately, and in a condition in which both tasks were performed simultaneously. COP excursion was compared in quiet standing (no focal task) and during performance of the focal tasks with full vision and with vision occluded. Results: Performance on the focal tasks was unaffected by increased postural demands during stance as compared to a seated baseline condition. This was the case for both age groups, and for the full vision and occluded vision conditions. Medio-lateral COP excursion was reduced over the quiet standing pretest condition when attentional focus was on the cognitive task, suggesting that COP was influenced centrally during cognition. In contrast, COP excursion increased over the quiet standing pretest condition when performing the motor focal task, suggesting a reduced ability to suppress sway when the motor system was concurrently occupied with a voluntary task that shared the same input-output resources. Conclusion: The ability to share attentional resources among focal and postural tasks was similar in healthy young and elderly subjects.

© 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Experimental Section

Received: November 25, 2001
Accepted: July 15, 2002
Published online: June 13, 2003
Issue release date: July – August

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 1
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher or, in the case of photocopying, direct payment of a specified fee to the Copyright Clearance Center.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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