Working Memory and Postural Control: Adult Age Differences in Potential for Improvement, Task Priority, and Dual Tasking

Michail Doumas, Michael A. Rapp, Ralf Th. Krampe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Citations (Scopus)
353 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We investigate dynamic posture control and working memory (NBack) retest practice in young and older adults, focusing on older adults' potential for improvement in the component tasks but more importantly in dual-task performance. Participants performed the 2 tasks in 11 sessions under single- and dual-task conditions. Posture improvement was observed with retest practice for both groups. Increase in cognitive load after initial practice led to greater dual-task costs in both tasks in older adults and higher costs in memory in young adults. With continued practice, costs were reduced by both groups; however, the 2 groups focused improvement on different tasks: Older adults focused on posture but young adults on cognition. These results emphasize older adults' potential for improvement in dual-task performance and their flexibility to utilize the practice gains in posture to optimize cognitive performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences
Volume64B
Issue number2
Early online date01 Jan 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology

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