Differentiating the Effects of Motor and Cognitive Dual-Tasks on Gait Performance of Young Healthy Subjects

  • Carlotta Caramia
  • Cristiano De Marchis
  • Maurizio Schmid
Conference paper
Part of the Biosystems & Biorobotics book series (BIOSYSROB, volume 21)


The purpose of this work was to analyze the variation of some gait descriptors when additional tasks (motor and cognitive with low and high load levels) were performed during walking, in 10 young healthy subjects. From one inertial sensor located at lumbar level, spatio-temporal parameters and measures of acceleration and jerk root mean square were extracted. The latter were normalized to make them independent from gait speed variations occurred during the different trials. Statistical analysis showed significant differences on the most of parameters between single and high cognitive level walking: the variations in acceleration-related measures were associated to a worsen in the walking balance, and those reported in jerk ones to a change in the smoothness, leading to an alteration in gait stability. The other two conditions presented just a trend, maybe due to the too low complexity of the tasks for the chosen population.


  1. 1.
    Fazio, P., Granieri, G., Casetta, I., Cesnik, E., Mazzacane, S., et al.: Gait measures with a triaxial accelerometer among patients with neurological impairment. Neurol. Sci. 34, 435–440 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Menz, H.B., Lord, S.R., Fitzpatrick, R.C.: Acceleration patterns of the head and pelvis when walking on level and irregular surfaces. Gait Posture 18(1), 35–46 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brodie, M.A.D., Menz, H.B., Lord, S.R.: Age-associated changes in head jerk while walking reveal altered dynamic stability in older people. Exp. Brain Res. 232, 51–60 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Mizuike, C., Shohei, O., Satoru, M.: Analysis of stroke patient walking dynamics using a tri-axial accelerometer. Gait Posture 30(1), 60–64 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sekine, M., Tamura, T., Yoshida, M., Suda, Y., Kimura, Y., Fujimoto, T.: A gait abnormality measure based on root mean square of trunk acceleration. J. Neuroeng. Rehabil. 10(1), 118 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yogev-Seligmann, G., Hausdorff, J.M., Giladi, N.: The role of executive function and attention in gait. Mov. Disord. 23(3), 329–342 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Huang, H.J., Mercer, V.S.: Dual-task methodology: applications in studies of cognitive and motor performance in adults and children. Pediatr. Phys. Ther. 13(3), 133–140 (2001)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    D’Anna, C., Schmid, M., Bibbo, D., Bertollo, M., Comani, S., Conforto, S.: The effect of continuous and discretized presentations of concurrent augmented visual biofeedback on postural control in quiet stance. PLoS ONE 10(7), e0132711 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Caramia, C., Bernabucci, I., D’Anna, C., De Marchis, C., Schmid, M.: Gait parameters are differently affected by concurrent smartphone-based activities with scaled levels of cognitive effort. PLoS One 12(10), e0185825 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yogev, G., Giladi, N., Peretz, C., Springer, S., Simon, E.S., Hausdorff, J.M.: Dual tasking, gait rhythmicity, and Parkinson’s disease: which aspects of gait are attention demanding? Eur. J. Neurosci. 22(5), 1248–1256 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Priest, A.W., Salamon, K.B., Hollman, J.H.: Age-related differences in dual task walking: a cross sectional study. J. Neuroeng. Rehabil. 5(1), 29 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gonzalez, R.C., Alvarez, D., Lopez, A.M., Alvarez, J.C.: Modified pendulum model for mean step length estimation. In: 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE-EMBS, Lyon, pp. 1371–1374 (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Spain, R.I., St. George, R.J., Salarian, A., Mancini, M., Wagner, J.M., et al.: Body-worn motion sensors detect balance and gait deficits in people with multiple sclerosis who have normal walking speed. Gait Posture 35, 573–578 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Asai, T., Misu, S., Doi, T., Yamada, M., Ando, H.: Effects of dual-tasking on control of trunk movement during gait: respective effect of manual-and cognitive-task. Gait Posture 39, 54–59 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mirelman, A., Bernad-Elazari, H., Nobel, T., Thaler, A., Peruzzi, A., Plotnik, M., Hausdorff, J.M.: Effects of aging on arm swing during gait: the role of gait speed and dual tasking. PLoS One 10(8), e0136043 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlotta Caramia
    • 1
  • Cristiano De Marchis
    • 1
  • Maurizio Schmid
    • 1
  1. 1.Roma Tre UniversityRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations