Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Walshe, EA;Patterson, MR;Commins, S;Roche, RAP
2015
April
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
Dual-task and electrophysiological markers of executive cognitive processing in older adult gait and fall-risk
Published
21 ()
Optional Fields
WORKING-MEMORY HEALTHY OLDER NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES AGE-DIFFERENCES WALKING CONFLICT INTERFERENCE ATTENTION VARIABILITY
9
The role of cognition is becoming increasingly central to our understanding of the complexity of walking gait. In particular, higher-level executive functions are suggested to play a key role in gait and fall risk, but the specific underlying neurocognitive processes remain unclear. Here, we report two experiments which investigated the cognitive and neural processes underlying older adult gait and falls. Experiment 1 employed a dual-task (DT) paradigm in young and older adults, to assess the relative effects of higher-level executive function tasks (n Back, Serial Subtraction and yisuo-spatial Clock task) in comparison to non-executive distracter tasks (motor response task and alphabet recitation) on gait. All DTs elicited changes in gait for both young and older adults, relative to baseline walking. Significantly greater DT costs were observed for the executive tasks in the older adult group. Experiment 2 compared normal walking gait, seated cognitive performances and concurrent event-related brain potentials (ERPs) in healthy young and older adults, to older adult fallers. No significant differences in cognitive performances were found between fallers and non-fallers. However, an initial late positivity, considered a potential early P3a, was evident on the Stroop task for older non-fallers, which was notably absent in older fallers. We argue that executive control functions play a prominent role in walking and gait, but the use of neurocognitiye processes as a predictor of fall-risk needs further investigation.
LAUSANNE
1662-5161
10.3389/fnhum.2015.00200
Grant Details