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Erin Smith, Tara Cusack, Caitriona Cunningham and Catherine Blake

, & Winter, 1997 ). However, in order to successfully carry out everyday tasks, it is also necessary to be able to perform concurrent motor and/or mentally challenging activities while walking, requiring input from the cognitive system. This ability to perform concurrent tasks or “dual task”, and the effect

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Dennis Hamacher, Daniel Hamacher, Kathrin Rehfeld, Anita Hökelmann and Lutz Schega

Dancing is a complex sensorimotor activity involving physical and mental elements which have positive effects on cognitive functions and motor control. The present randomized controlled trial aims to analyze the effects of a dancing program on the performance on a motorcognitive dual task. Data of 35 older adults, who were assigned to a dancing group or a health-related exercise group, are presented in the study. In pretest and posttest, we assessed cognitive performance and variability of minimum foot clearance, stride time, and stride length while walking. Regarding the cognitive performance and the stride-to-stride variability of minimum foot clearance, interaction effects have been found, indicating that dancing lowers gait variability to a higher extent than conventional health-related exercise. The data show that dancing improves minimum foot clearance variability and cognitive performance in a dual-task situation. Multi-task exercises (like dancing) might be a powerful tool to improve motor-cognitive dual-task performance.

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Juliana Hotta Ansai, Larissa Pires de Andrade, Marcele Stephanie de Souza Buto, Verena de Vassimon Barroso, Ana Claudia Silva Farche, Paulo Giusti Rossi and Anielle Cristhine de Medeiros Takahashi

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of the addition of a dual task to multicomponent training on cognition of active older adults. Eighty physically active older adults were divided into an intervention group (IG) and a control group (CG). Both groups performed multicomponent training over 12 weeks. The IG simultaneously performed exercises and cognitive tasks. The Mini-Mental State Examination, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, and the Clock Drawing Test were used for cognitive assessments. The Timed Up and Go Test associated with a cognitive task was used for dual-task assessment. Significant interactions were not observed between groups in terms of the cognitive variables or the dual-task performance. An interaction was observed only for Timed Up and Go Test performance, which was better in the CG than in the IG. Active older adults showed no improvement in cognition following the addition of the dual task to the multicomponent training.

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Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Amanda L. Penko, Andrew S. Bazyk, Matthew C. Streicher, Tanujit Dey and Jay L. Alberts

, & Tysnes, 2013 ). In PD, gait impairments become exacerbated under dual-task (DT) conditions, or the simultaneous performance of two attention-demanding tasks ( Kelly, Eusterbrock, & Shumway-Cook, 2012 ; Penko et al., 2018 ). Decreased gait performance under DT conditions in PD has been attributed to

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Ming Fung Godfrey Lui, Hung Kay Daniel Chow, Wai Ming Kenny Wong and Wai Nam William Tsang

, Li, Schmiedek, & Lindenberger, 2006 ; Yardley et al., 2001 ). Dual tasking has been shown to demand devoting additional attention and processing capacity to balance control. This would explain Otmani’s findings and those of Slotten and Krekling. So far, however, melatonin’s effects on the temporal

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Elisa F. Ogawa, Tongjian You and Suzanne G. Leveille

This paper provides a systematic review of current research findings using exergaming as a treatment for improving cognition and dual-task function in older adults. A literature search was conducted to collect exergaming intervention studies that were either randomized controlled or uncontrolled studies. Of the seven identified studies (five randomized controlled studies and two uncontrolled studies), three studies focused on cognitive function alone, two studies focused on dual-task function alone, and two studies measured both cognitive function and dual-task function. Current evidence supports that exergaming improves cognitive function and dual-task function, which potentially leads to fall prevention. However, it is unclear whether exergaming, which involves both cognitive input and physical exercise, has additional benefits compared with traditional physical exercise alone. Further studies should include traditional exercise as a control group to identify these potential, additional benefits.

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Phillip D. Tomporowski and Michel Audiffren

Thirty-one young (mean age = 20.8 years) and 30 older (mean age = 71.5 years) men and women categorized as physically active (n = 30) or inactive (n = 31) performed an executive processing task while standing, treadmill walking at a preferred pace, and treadmill walking at a faster pace. Dual-task interference was predicted to negatively impact older adults’ cognitive flexibility as measured by an auditory switch task more than younger adults; further, participants’ level of physical activity was predicted to mitigate the relation. For older adults, treadmill walking was accompanied by significantly more rapid response times and reductions in local- and mixed-switch costs. A speed-accuracy tradeoff was observed in which response errors increased linearly as walking speed increased, suggesting that locomotion under dual-task conditions degrades the quality of older adults’ cognitive flexibility. Participants’ level of physical activity did not influence cognitive test performance.

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Jordan M. Glenn, Jennifer Vincenzo, Collin K. Canella, Ashley Binns and Michelle Gray

Gait speed predicts survival in older adults; however, gait has not been evaluated in late middle-aged (LMA) populations.

Purpose:

Evaluate single- and dual-task gait speeds among sedentary (SED), recreationally active (RA), and masters athlete (MA) LMA adults.

Methods:

Participants were SED (n = 20, age = 61.0 ± 5.8), RA (n = 57, age = 63.5 ± 8.4), and MA (n = 25, age = 57.5 ± 7.9). Two trials of each task (10 m) were completed: habitual speed (HS), maximal speed (MS), dual-task (counting backward from a number by 3) habitual speed (DT-HS), and dual-task maximal speed (DT-MS).

Results:

MA (2.08 ± 0.63 m/s) had significantly (p < .05) greater MS compared with SED (1.94 ± 0.30 m/s) and RA (1.99 ± 0.53 m/s). Similar differences existed for DT-MS (SED = 1.77 ± 0.32 m/s, RA = 1.80 ± 0.51 m/s, MA = 1.89 ± 0.63 m/s). MA had smaller MS and DT-MS changes (difference between MS and DT-MS speeds) compared with RA (12%) and SED (13%).

Conclusion:

Maintaining a competitively active lifestyle increases MS in LMA adults and may support healthy aging.

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Lisa Ferguson-Stegall, Mandy Vang, Anthony S. Wolfe and Kathy M. Thomsen

Background:

Falls are a major public health concern among older adults, and most occur while walking, especially under dualtask conditions. Jaques-Dalcroze eurhythmics (JDE) is a music-based movement training program that emphasizes multitask coordinated movement. A previous 6-mo JDE study in older people demonstrated improved gait and balance; however, the effects of short-term JDE interventions on fall risk-related outcomes are largely unknown. We conducted a preliminary investigation on whether a 9-week JDE intervention improved gait and stability in a community-dwelling older cohort, hypothesizing that improvements would occur in all outcome measures.

Methods:

Nine participants (78.9 ± 12.3 y) completed the supervised JDE intervention (once/week for 60 min). Gait speed was determined by the 6-m timed walk test (6MTW); dual-task gait speed was determined by another 6MTW while counting backward from 50 aloud; and coordinated stability was assessed using a Swaymeter-like device.

Results:

Gait speed (0.92 ± 0.11 vs 1.04 ± 0.12 m/sec, P = .04) and dual-task gait speed (0.77 ± 0.09 vs 0.92 ± 0.11 m/sec, P = .0005) significantly improved.

Conclusions:

This novel intervention is an effective short-term physical activity option for those that plan physical activity or fall-risk reduction programs for the older people.

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Nicholas P. Murray and Christopher M. Janelle

The purpose of this study was to examine the central tenets of the Processing Efficiency Theory (PET) in the context of a dual-task auto racing simulation. Participants were placed into either high or low trait-anxiety groups and required to concurrently undertake a driving task while responding to one of four target LEDs upon presentation of either a valid or an invalid cue located in the central or peripheral visual field. Eye movements and dual-task performance were recorded under baseline and competition conditions. Anxiety was induced by an instructional set delivered prior to the competition condition. Findings indicated that while there was little change in driving performance from baseline to competition, response time was reduced for the low-anxious group but increased for the high-anxious group during the competitive session. Additionally there was an increase in search rate for both groups during the competitive session, indicating a reduction in processing efficiency. Implications of this study include a more comprehensive and mechanistic account of the PET and confirm that increases in cognitive anxiety may result in a reduction of processing efficiency, with little change in performance effectiveness.