Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2008 May;63(3):P121-8.

Walking variability and working-memory load in aging: a dual-process account relating cognitive control to motor control performance.

Author information

  • 1Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, Berlin, Germany. loevden@mpib-berlin.mpg.de


Effects of cognitive activities on walking variability are poorly understood. We parametrically manipulated working-memory load by using an n-back task in 32 younger adults and 32 older adults walking on a treadmill at self-selected speed. We found no dual-task costs for cognitive performance. Stride-to-stride variability was lower when participants performed an easy working-memory task than when they walked without cognitive tasks. Increasing working-memory load from 1-back to 4-back produced decreasing variability of stride time and stride length in younger but not in older adults. Extending the 2006 dual-process account proposed by Huxhold, Li, Schmiedek, and Lindenberger, we conclude that normal aging alters the trade-off between the effects of focus of attention and resource competition on walking variability.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk