Posture and cognition interfere in later adulthood even without concurrent response production

Caroline Smolders, Mihalis Doumas, Ralf Th Krampe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


We investigated adult age differences in dual-task costs in cognitive-sensorimotor settings without concurrent response production and with individually adjusted resource demands for the cognitive task. Twenty-four young adults (M=25.42 years, SD=3.55) and 23 older adults (M=68 years, SD=4.46) performed a cognitive task and two postural control tasks (standing on a stable and moving platform) both separately (single-task context) and concurrently (dual-task context). The cognitive task did not require response production during posture data collection and its difficulty was individually adjusted to 80% correct performance under single-task conditions. Results showed pronounced age differences in postural control in the moving platform condition, which increased further under dual-task conditions. Our findings support the assumption of increased cognitive resource demands for postural control in older adults. They extend existing work by taking two shortcomings of previous studies into account. We discuss cognitive and posture task constraints in this and previous studies as factors determining multi-tasking and its changes in later adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-819
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Movement Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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