Presentation Title

Dual-Tasking with Virtual Reality to Understand the Role of Visual Cues in Divided Attention

Advisor Information

Sara Myers

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2016 4:00 PM

Abstract

Among people aged 65+, one-third living in a community, and almost two-thirds of those in residential care facilities fall each year. At age 75+, this percentage increases to 50%. Three main reasons for falls have been identified: tripping over an obstacle, walking impairments and impaired divided attention. Dual-task paradigms are a way to investigate the latter two causes, where subjects are asked to walk and simultaneously perform a cognitive task that taxes similar resources of the brain as walking. Importantly, research has shown that the ability to dual-task is predictive of falls and that fallers exhibit altered walking variability and decreased cognitive task performance compared to healthy adults. Accordingly, dual-task paradigms are utilized in rehabilitative programs and interventions for fallers and are more frequently including virtual reality. Essential visual cues for orientation when walking are provided by virtual reality environments that would otherwise be absent on a treadmill. It is known that visual cues from a virtual reality system change walking variability patterns and that these cues are important for subjects to adapt movement in different environmental situations. However, whether or not added visual cues have an impact on situations of divided attention such as in dual-task walking is not established and could be important for rehabilitation efforts. This project investigates the effect of the environmental context (visual cues vs. no visual cues) on dual-task walking. Walking performance, measured by amount and structure of walking variability, and cognitive performance is presented for healthy young adults.

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COinS
 
Mar 4th, 2:30 PM Mar 4th, 4:00 PM

Dual-Tasking with Virtual Reality to Understand the Role of Visual Cues in Divided Attention

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Among people aged 65+, one-third living in a community, and almost two-thirds of those in residential care facilities fall each year. At age 75+, this percentage increases to 50%. Three main reasons for falls have been identified: tripping over an obstacle, walking impairments and impaired divided attention. Dual-task paradigms are a way to investigate the latter two causes, where subjects are asked to walk and simultaneously perform a cognitive task that taxes similar resources of the brain as walking. Importantly, research has shown that the ability to dual-task is predictive of falls and that fallers exhibit altered walking variability and decreased cognitive task performance compared to healthy adults. Accordingly, dual-task paradigms are utilized in rehabilitative programs and interventions for fallers and are more frequently including virtual reality. Essential visual cues for orientation when walking are provided by virtual reality environments that would otherwise be absent on a treadmill. It is known that visual cues from a virtual reality system change walking variability patterns and that these cues are important for subjects to adapt movement in different environmental situations. However, whether or not added visual cues have an impact on situations of divided attention such as in dual-task walking is not established and could be important for rehabilitation efforts. This project investigates the effect of the environmental context (visual cues vs. no visual cues) on dual-task walking. Walking performance, measured by amount and structure of walking variability, and cognitive performance is presented for healthy young adults.