The Effects of Task Difficulty and Attentional Focus Instructions During Walking on Real-Time Conscious Movement Processing by Older Adults (78831)

Session Information:

Session: On Demand
Room: Virtual Poster Presentation
Presentation Type: Virtual Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Conscious movement processing (CMP) could disrupt movement automaticity, particularly under stressful situations like walking in challenging environments with internal focus. This study aimed to investigate the effects of walking task difficulty and attentional focus instructions during foam (compliant surface) walking on real-time CMP, gait stability and muscle efficiency in older adults at risk of falling. Forty older adults (mean age: 70.4±4.6) were included in this interim analysis. Each participant performed nine walking trials on a compliant surface along a 7.4m straight walkway, with three repetitions of three randomized attentional focus conditions (external, internal, control). Electroencephalography (EEG) T3-Fz coherence, body sway and variabilities in gait parameters, and co-contraction index of lower limbs were used to indicate real-time CMP, gait stability, and muscle efficiency, respectively. We observed significantly increased EEG T3-Fz coherence (p=0.045), variabilities of gait parameters (SD of stride-time, double-support-time, stance-time, swing-time, step-length & step-width: p<0.001), and co-contraction index of the thigh (p<0.001) during foam compared to ground walking. We also discovered significantly reduced body sway in all regions (shoulder, pelvis, sternum: p<0.05) and variabilities of gait parameters (stride-time SD, stride-length SD: p<0.05) under external compared to internal focus instructions during foam walking. Our interim analysis discovered an increased real-time CMP, impaired gait stability, and reduced muscle efficiency in older adults when walking task difficulty increased while gait stability improved under external focus instruction compared to internal focus instruction when walking on a compliant surface. Further analysis after completion of data collection will be conducted for more solid conclusions.

Thomson Wai-lung Wong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Minghua M. H. Cao, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Toby C. T. Mak, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Melody C. Y. Leung, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Charity H. L. Lam, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Shamay S. M. Ng, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Wai Lung, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Wai Lung, Thomson Wong is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00