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  • Author: William E. McIlroy x
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Neelesh K. Nadkarni, Karl Zabjek, Betty Lee, William E. McIlroy and Sandra E. Black

Changes in gait parameters induced by the concomitant performance of one of two cognitive tasks activating working memory and spatial attention, was examined in healthy young adults (YA) and older adults (OA). There was a main effect of task condition on gait-speed (p = .02), stride-length (p < .001) and double-support time (p = .04) independent of the group. There were no significant differences between working memory and spatial attention associated gait changes. Working-memory and spatial-attention dual-tasking led to a decrease in gait-speed (p = .09 and 0.01) and stride-length (p = .04 and 0.01) and increase in double-support time (p = .01 and 0.03) in YA and decrease in stride-length (p = .04 and 0.01) alone in OA. Cognitive task associated changes in gait may be a function of limited attentional resources irrespective of the type of cognitive task.