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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 16;10(6):e0129390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129390. eCollection 2015.

Maintaining Gait Performance by Cortical Activation during Dual-Task Interference: A Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Study.

Author information

1
Translational Imaging Research Center, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC; Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC; Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
2
Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
3
Department of Physical Therapy and Assistive Technology, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC; Taipei City Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.
4
Institute of Biophotonics, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC; Department of Biomedical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC; Brain Research Center, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.

Abstract

In daily life, mobility requires walking while performing a cognitive or upper-extremity motor task. Although previous studies have evaluated the effects of dual tasks on gait performance, few studies have evaluated cortical activation and its association with gait disturbance during dual tasks. In this study, we simultaneously assessed gait performance and cerebral oxygenation in the bilateral prefrontal cortices (PFC), premotor cortices (PMC), and supplemental motor areas (SMA), using functional near-infrared spectroscopy, in 17 young adults performing dual tasks. Each participant was evaluated while performing normal-pace walking (NW), walking while performing a cognitive task (WCT), and walking while performing a motor task (WMT). Our results indicated that the left PFC exhibited the strongest and most sustained activation during WCT, and that NW and WMT were associated with minor increases in oxygenation levels during their initial phases. We observed increased activation in channels in the SMA and PMC during WCT and WMT. Gait data indicated that WCT and WMT both caused reductions in walking speed, but these reductions resulted from differing alterations in gait properties. WCT was associated with significant changes in cadence, stride time, and stride length, whereas WMT was associated with reductions in stride length only. During dual-task activities, increased activation of the PMC and SMA correlated with declines in gait performance, indicating a control mechanism for maintaining gait performance during dual tasks. Thus, the regulatory effects of cortical activation on gait behavior enable a second task to be performed while walking.

PMID:
26079605
PMCID:
PMC4469417
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0129390
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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