The Effect of Attentional Focus on Real-Time Conscious Motor Processing During Tandem Walking in Young Adults

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Shamoon S. Shahzada School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

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Toby C.T. Mak Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

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Thomson W.L. Wong Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6267-9034 *
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The theory of reinvestment in experimental psychology suggested that automated performance could be degraded if attention was internally diverted to the process of skill execution. This study examined the role of attentional focus instructions on real-time conscious motor processing (i.e., reinvestment) during tandem walking. Thirty-six young adults (mean age = 20.94, SD = 1.43 years) participated; their electroencephalography T3–Fz coherence (i.e., real-time reinvestment) was measured during three walking conditions with different attentional focus instructions: external focus, internal focus, and control conditions. The results suggested that attentional focus instructions did not significantly affect real-time conscious motor processing during tandem walking in young adults, possibly due to the low level of motor task complexity of walking by young adults. The Movement-Specific Reinvestment Scale appears to be not sensitive enough to reflect the real-time reinvestment during gait-related movements in young adults.

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