Advertisement

Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 232, Issue 7, pp 2049–2060 | Cite as

Effect of attentional interference on balance recovery in older adults

  • C. Elaine LittleEmail author
  • Marjorie Woollacott
Research Article

Abstract

Since most working memory (WM) tasks used in dual-task (DT) postural paradigms include both storage and processing of information, it is difficult to determine the extent to which each of these contributes to interference with balance control. In the current study, a change-detection task (changes in colored squares between two presentation events) that estimates visual working memory capacity (VWMC) was paired with tasks of increasing postural demand (stance, perturbation) in young adults (YAs) and older adults (OAs) and performance compared between the two postural conditions and across the two populations. The change-detection task was selected as it requires storage of information without updating or manipulation; 34 YAs, 34 OAs, and five frail OAs were recruited. A significant reduction in VWMC occurred with increasing postural demand during the perturbation condition for both YAs (p < 0.01) and OAs (p < 0.001). VWMC was also significantly lower for OAs than YAs in the control condition (1.8 ± 0.7 vs. 2.8 ± 0.6) (p < 0.001). OAs showed a significant increase in the number of trials in which steps or rise to toes occurred during recovery between single-task (ST) and DT (p < 0.05; p < 0.05). OAs also showed a significant increase in normalized tibialis anterior amplitude (p < 0.001) following perturbations. YAs showed an increase in normalized area under the center of pressure trajectory and in AP forces (nAcopx1: p < 0.001; nFap1: p < 0.05) during the DT condition.

Keywords

Postural control Dual-task postural paradigm Automatic postural response Visual working memory Aging Fall prevention Attention 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by the National Institute of Health, Grant #AG021598 (M Woollacott, PI).

References

  1. Alexander BH, Rivara FP, Wolf ME (1992) The cost and frequency of hospitalization for fall-related injuries in older adults. Am J Public Health 82:1020–1023PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arbuthnott K, Frank J (2000) Trail making test, Part B as a measure of executive control: validation using a set-switching paradigm. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 22(4):518–528PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bohannon RW (1997) Comfortable and maximum walking speed of adults aged 20–79 years: reference values and determinants. Age Ageing 26(1):15–19PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brauer SG, Woollacott M, Shumway-Cook A (2001) The interaction effects of cognitive demand and recovery of postural stability in balance-impaired elderly persons. J Gerontol Med Sci 56A(8):M489–M496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown LA, Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott MH (1999) Attentional demands and postural recovery: the effects of aging. J Gerontol Med Sci 54A(4):M165–M171CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bugalho P, Veana-Baptista M (2013) Predictors of cognitive decline in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease: a brief cognitive assessment longitudinal study. Parkinson’s Disease, vol 2013, Article ID 912037, 8 p. doi: 10.1155/2013/912037
  7. Clement G, Gurfinkel VS, Lestienne F, Lipshits MI, Popov KE (1984) Adaptation of postural control to weightlessness. Exp Brain Res 57:61–72PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cluff T, Gharib T, Balasubramaniam R (2010) Attentional influences on the performance of secondary physical tasks during posture control. Exp Brain Res 203(4):647–658PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cocchini G, Logie RH, Della Sala S, MacPherson SE, Baddeley AD (2002) Concurrent performance of two memory tasks: evidence for domain-specific working memory systems. Memory Cogn 30(7):1086–1095CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collette F, Olivier L, van der Linden M, Laureys S, Delfiore G, Luxen A, Salmon E (2005) Involvement of both prefrontal and inferior parietal cortex in dual-task performance. Cogn Brain Res 24:237–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dault MC, Frank J, Allard F (2001) Influence of a visuo-spatial, verbal and central executive working memory task on postural control. Gait Posture 14:110–116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doumas M, Smolders C, Krampe RT (2008) Task prioritization in aging: effects of sensory information on concurrent posture and memory performance. Exp Brain Res 187:275–281PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Field A (2009) Discovering statistics using SPSS, 3rd edn. SAGE Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Folk CL, Hoyer WJ (1992) Aging and shifts of visual spatial attention. Psychol Aging 7:453–465PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Folstein MF, Folstein SE, McHugh PR (1975) “Mini-mental state”: a practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. J Psychiatr Res 12:189–198PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hadjistavropoulos T, Carleton RN, Delbaere K, Barden J, Zwakhalen S, Fitzgerald B, Ghandehari OO, Hadjistavropoulos H (2012) The relationship of fear of falling and balance confidence with balance and dual-task performance. Psychol Aging 72(1):1–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hasher L, Zacks RT (1988) Working memory, comprehension, and aging: a review and a new view. In: Bower GH (ed) The psychology of learning and meditation. Academic Press, New York, pp 193–225Google Scholar
  18. Hernandez D, Rose DJ (2008) Predicting which older adults will or will not fall using the Fullerton Advanced Balance Scale. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 89:2309–2315PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Horak FB, Nashner LM (1986) Central programming of postural movements: adaptation to altered support-surface configurations. J Neurophysiol 55(6):1369–1381PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Horak FB, Diener HC, Nashner LM (1989) Influence of central set on human postural responses. J Neurophy 62(4):841–853Google Scholar
  21. Huxhold O, Li SC, Schmiedek F, Lindenberger U (2006) Dual-tasking postural control; aging and the effects of cognitive demand in conjunction with focus of attention. Brain Res Bull 69:294–305PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jennings JM, Dagenbach D, Engle CM, Funke LJ (2007) Age-related changes and the Attention Network Task: an examination of alerting, orienting, and executive function. Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 14(4):353–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jost K, Bryck RL, Vogel EK, Mayr U (2011) Are old adults just like low working memory young adults? Filtering efficiency and age differences in visual working memory. Cereb Corte 21:1147–1154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kahneman D (1973) Attention and effort. Prentice Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  25. Lajoie Y, Teasdale N, Bard C, Fleury M (1993) Attentional demands for static and dynamic equilibrium. Exp Brain Res 97:139–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Little CE (2012) The role of attention in fall prevention—evaluation of dual task interference with postural and visual working memory tasks in young and older adults; does capacity limitation influence postural responses? PhD Thesis, University of OregonGoogle Scholar
  27. Logie RH, Zucco GM, Baddeley AD (1990) Interference with visual short-term memory. Acta Psychol 75:55–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Logie RH, Pernet CR, Buonocore A, Della Salla S (2011) Low and high imagers activate networks differentially in mental rotation. Neuropsychologia 49:3071–3077PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Luck SJ, Vogel EK (1997) The capacity of visual working memory for features and conjunctions. Nature 390:279–281PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Macpherson JM, Horak FB, Dunbar DC, Dow RS (1989) Stance dependence of automatic postural adjustments in humans. Exp Brain Res 78:557–566PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McCollough AW, Machizawa MG, Vogel EK (2007) Electrophysiological measures of maintaining representations in visual working memory. Cortex 43(1):77–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Mecagni C, Smith JP, Roberts KE, O’Sullivan SB (2000) Balance and ankle range of motion in community-dwelling women aged 64 to 87 years: a correlational study. Phys Ther 80(10):1004–1011PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Nardone A, Schieppati M (1988) Postural adjustments associated with voluntary contraction of leg muscles in standing man. Exp Brain Res 69:469–480PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nashner L, Berthoz A (1978) Visual contribution to rapid motor responses during postural control. Brain Res 150:403–407PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Norman GR, Streiner DL (2000) Biostatistics: the bare essentials, 2nd edn. B.C. Decker Inc., LondonGoogle Scholar
  36. Norrie RG, Maki BE, Staines WR, McIlroy WE (2002) The time course of attention shifts following perturbation of upright stance. Exp Brain Res 146:315–321PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pai Y-C, Maki BE, Iqbal K, McIlory WE, Perry SD (2000) Thresholds for step initiation induced by support-surface translation: a dynamic center-of-mass model provides much better prediction than a static model. J Biomech 33:387–392PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pashler H (1988) Familiarity and visual change detection. Percept Psycho-physiol 44:369–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Quinn JG (1994) Towards a clarification of spatial processing. Q J Exp Psychol 47A(2):465–480CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rankin JK, Woollacott MH, Shumway-Cook A, Brown LA (2000) Cognitive influence on postural stability: a neuromuscular analysis in young and older adults. J Gerontol Med Sci 55(3):M112–M119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Salthouse TA (1994) The nature of the influence of speed on adult age differences in cognition. Dev Psychol 30:240–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott MH (2012) Motor control: translating research into clinical practice, 4th edn. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, p 166Google Scholar
  43. Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott M, Kerns KA, Baldwin M (1997) The effects of two types of cognitive tasks on postural stability in older adults with and without a history of falls. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 52(4):M232–M240PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Silsupadol P, Siu KC, Shumway-Cook A, Woollacott MH (2006) Training of balance under single and dual-task conditions in older adults with balance impairment. Phys Ther 86(2):269–281PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Siu K-C, Chou L-S, Mayr U, van Donkelaar P, Woollacott MH (2008) Does inability to allocate attention contribute to balance constraints during gait in older adults? J Gerontol Med Sci 634A(12):1364–1369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sperling G (1960) The information available in brief visual presentations. Psychol Monogr 74 (Whole No. 498)Google Scholar
  47. Spirduso WW, Francis KL, MacRae PG (2005) Physical dimensions of aging, 2nd edn. Human Kinetics, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  48. Tinetti ME, Speechley M, Ginter SF (1988) Risk factors for falls among elderly persons living in the community. N Engl J Med 319:1701–1707PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Vogel EK, Machizawa MG (2004) Neural activity predicts individual differences in visual working memory capacity. Nature 428:748–751PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wickens CD (1983) Processing resources in attention, dual task performance, and workload assessment. In: Parasuraman R, Davies R (eds) Varieties of attention. Academic Press, New York, pp 63–102Google Scholar
  51. Woollacott M, Vander Velde TJ (2008) Non-visual spatial tasks reveal increased interactions with stance postural control. Brain Res 1208:95–102PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Woollacott MH, Shumway-Cook A, Nashner LM (1986) Aging and posture control: changes in sensory organization and muscular coordination. Int J Aging Hum Dev 23(2):97–114PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human PhysiologyUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

Personalised recommendations