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Attentional artifacts in sensorimotor coupling in the postural control of young adults

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Although postural control requires the integration of different sensory cues, little is known about the role of attentional artifacts on the individual’s ability to properly respond to postural challenges. This study investigated the effects of concomitant tasks (cognitive and postural) on the relationship between visual information and body sway. Thirty healthy adults were asked to stand still inside of a moving room on normal and reduced bases of support. Initially, the participants were not aware of any visual manipulation and were asked to perform tasks that required concomitant attentional demands. Then, all participants were informed about the visual manipulation and were requested to resist it. The results showed that information about visual manipulation changed the coupling between visual information and body sway, but only in a less demanding task, and that it was affected by the concomitant task. The coupling between visual information and body sway for postural control does not demand attention on a regular basis, but any change in this relationship demands attention and occurs in less demanding postural tasks.

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Correspondence to José Angelo Barela.

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Genoves, G.G., Barela, A.M.F., Sanches, C. et al. Attentional artifacts in sensorimotor coupling in the postural control of young adults. Exp Brain Res 234, 3641–3647 (2016).

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