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  • MEDLINE/PubMed (NLM)  (286)
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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Gait & Posture, January 2015, Vol.41(1), pp.258-262
    Description: The dual-process account of sensorimotor-cognitive interactions postulates that easy cognitive tasks can lead to performance improvements in the motor domain (e.g., an increased stability while walking or balancing) across the lifespan. However, cross-domain resource competition can lead to performance decrements in motor tasks when the concurrent cognitive task is very difficult, and older adults have shown performance decrements in their motor functioning under such circumstances. Resource limitations are particularly pronounced not only in old adulthood, but also in childhood. The current study investigates the relationship of walking speed and cognitive load on walking regularity in 7- and 9-year olds and young adults, with 18 participants in each group. Participants were walking on a treadmill at their preferred speed, and with speeds that were 30% faster and 30% slower than preferred. Regularity of lower-body coordination was operationalized as the residual variance of principal component analyses performed on the data of a motion analysis system. All age groups showed a more regular gait with increasing walking speed. Young adults’ gait regularity was not influenced by cognitive load, whereas children showed a U-shaped relationship of cognitive load and walking regularity, with the highest regularity when performing an easy cognitive task. It can be concluded that children are also influenced by cross-domain resources competition in challenging cognitive-motor dual-task situations.
    Keywords: Dual-Task ; Walking ; Cognition ; Children ; Young Adults ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0966-6362
    E-ISSN: 1879-2219
    E-ISSN: 14321106
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Psychological Bulletin, 2010, Vol.136(4), pp.659-676
    Description: Does plasticity contribute to adult cognitive development, and if so, in what ways? The vague and overused concept of plasticity makes these controversial questions difficult to answer. In this article, we refine the notion of adult cognitive plasticity and sharpen its conceptual distinctiveness. According to our framework, adult cognitive plasticity is driven by a prolonged mismatch between functional organismic supplies and environmental demands and denotes the brain's capacity for anatomically implementing reactive changes in behavioral flexibility (i.e., the possible range of performance and function). We distinguish between 2 interconnected but distinct cognitive outcomes of adult cognitive plasticity: alterations in processing efficiency and alterations in representations. We demonstrate the usefulness of our framework in evaluating and interpreting (a) increments in frontal brain activations in the course of normal aging and (b) the effects of cognitive training in adulthood and old age. Finally, we outline new research questions and predictions generated by the present framework and recommend design features for future cognitive-training studies.
    Keywords: Adult Cognitive Development ; Aging ; Compensation ; Cognitive Intervention ; Transfer
    ISSN: 0033-2909
    E-ISSN: 1939-1455
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Developmental Psychology, 2008, Vol.44(3), pp.747-757
    Description: Task prioritization can lead to trade-off patterns in dual-task situations. The authors compared dual-task performances in 9- and 11-year-old children and young adults performing a cognitive task and a motor task concurrently. The motor task required balancing on an ankle-disc board. Two cognitive tasks measured working memory and episodic memory at difficulty levels individually adjusted during the course of extensive training. Adults showed performance decrements in both task domains under dual-task conditions. In contrast, children showed decrements only in the cognitive tasks but actually swayed less under dual-task than under single-task conditions and continued to reduce their body sway even when instructed to focus on the cognitive task. The authors argue that children perform closer to their stability boundaries in the balance task and therefore prioritize protection of their balance under dual-task conditions.
    Keywords: Dual Task ; Children ; Young Adults ; Postural Stability ; Task Prioritization
    ISSN: 0012-1649
    E-ISSN: 1939-0599
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Psychology and Aging, 2014, Vol.29(3), pp.503-520
    Description: This study examined how children (9 years), adolescents (13 to 15 years), younger adults (21 to 26 years), and older adults (70 to 76 years) chart age gradients of cognitive and social functioning from childhood to old age. Participants ( N = 156) rated typical performance levels in different life phases for 10 aspects of cognitive and social functioning. Compared with older participants, children expected lower performance levels and higher temporal stability, particularly during adulthood and into old age, and showed lower interindividual consensus in their ratings. Individuals in all 4 age groups recognized that fluid cognitive abilities reach their developmental peak earlier in life and decline more steeply thereafter than crystallized cognitive abilities. Older adults and, to a lesser extent, children evaluated their own current functioning as being better than that of their typical age peers. Furthermore, older adults charted typical cognitive development in middle and earlier late adulthood more positively than the participants in the other 3 age groups, which possibly reflects a partial externalization of their own positive self-views and a self-enhancing bias. Comparisons with life span gradients of cognitive performance ( McArdle, Ferrer-Caja, Hamagami, & Woodcock, 2002 ) suggest that the ratings of adolescents and younger adults were in better agreement with empirically observed average performance trajectories than the ratings of children and older adults. We conclude that beliefs about normative cognitive and social aspects of life span development emerge in late middle childhood, solidify into culturally shared scripts by mid-adolescence, and remain subject to further change into old age.
    Keywords: Beliefs About Aging ; Cognitive Development ; Social Development ; Biexponential Latent Growth Curve Modeling ; Age Differences
    ISSN: 0882-7974
    E-ISSN: 1939-1498
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Frontiers in psychology, 2014, Vol.5, pp.1167
    Description: The underlying assumption of studies on cognitive-motor dual-tasking is that resources are limited, and when they have to be shared between a cognitive and a motor task, performances will suffer. Resource competition should therefore be particularly pronounced in children, older adults, or people who are just acquiring a new motor skill. The current review summarizes expertise and age comparative studies that have combined a cognitive and a motor task. Expertise studies have often assessed sports performances (e.g., golf putting, soccer dribbling, rugby drills) and have shown that experts are more successful than novices to keep up their performances in dual-task situations. The review also presents age-comparative studies that have used walking (on narrow tracks or on a treadmill) as the motor task. Older adults often show higher costs than young adults, and they tend to prioritize the motor domain. These findings are discussed in relation to the ecological approach to dual-task research originally introduced by Li et al. (2005). The approach proposes to study ecologically valid dual-task situations, and always to investigate dual-task costs for both domains (cognitive and motor performance) in order to assess potential tradeoffs. In addition, task difficulties should be individually adjusted, and differential-emphasis instructions should be included in the study design.
    Keywords: Cognition ; Dual Task ; Expertise ; Lifespan Development ; Motor Skills
    ISSN: 1664-1078
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: The Quarterly Review of Biology, 01 December 2015, Vol.90(4), pp.381-415
    Description: ABSTRACT Organisms adapt developmental and physiological features to local and transient conditions in part by modulating transcription, translation, and protein functions, usually without changing DNA sequences. Remarkably, these epigenetic changes sometimes endure through meiosis and gametogenesis, thereby affecting phenotypic variation across generations, long after epigenetic changes were triggered. Transgenerational effects challenge our traditional understanding of inheritance. In this review, we focus on patterns of inheritance, molecular features, mechanisms that lead from environmental and genetic perturbations to phenotypic variation in later generations, and issues about study design and replication.
    Keywords: Biology;
    ISSN: 00335770
    E-ISSN: 15397718
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Gait & Posture, 2011, Vol.33(3), pp.401-405
    Description: We investigated dual-task performance of cognitive (semantic fluency) and sensorimotor tasks (walking) in 120 children and adults from four age groups (9-year olds, = 9.52 years; 11-year olds, = 11.51 years; young adults, = 25.34 years; older adults, = 64.28 years; = 30 per group). Distances walked during 90 s and numbers of category exemplars generated in the semantic fluency task showed an inverted U-shape function with age. In line with general resource models proportional dual-task costs in walking also showed a U-shaped relation as a function of age with pronounced decrements in the youngest and oldest groups. Only 9-year olds showed significant costs in the cognitive task. Individual differences in single-task performance accounted for more than half of the variance in dual-task performance. Reliable age-related residual variance implicated additional factors particularly in children's developing multi-tasking performances.
    Keywords: Dual-Task ; Lifespan ; Semantic Fluency ; Cognitive Resources ; Medicine ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0966-6362
    E-ISSN: 1879-2219
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Chemosphere, November 2015, Vol.138, pp.856-862
    Description: Equilibrium sampling can be applied to measure freely dissolved concentrations ( ) of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs) that are considered effective concentrations for diffusive uptake and partitioning. It can also yield concentrations in lipids at thermodynamic equilibrium with the sediment ( ) by multiplying concentrations in the equilibrium sampling polymer with lipid to polymer partition coefficients. We have applied silicone coated glass jars for equilibrium sampling of seven ‘indicator’ polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediment samples from ten locations along the River Elbe to measure of PCBs and their . For three sites, we then related to lipid-normalized PCB concentrations ( ) that were determined independently by the German Environmental Specimen Bank in common bream, a fish species living in close contact with the sediment: (1) In all cases, were below , (2) there was proportionality between the two parameters with high values (0.92–1.00) and (3) the slopes of the linear regressions were very similar between the three stations (0.297; 0.327; 0.390). These results confirm the close link between PCB bioaccumulation and the thermodynamic potential of sediment-associated HOCs for partitioning into lipids. This novel approach gives clearer and more consistent results compared to conventional approaches that are based on total concentrations in sediment and biota-sediment accumulation factors. We propose to apply equilibrium sampling for determining bioavailability and bioaccumulation potential of HOCs, since this technique can provide a thermodynamic basis for the risk assessment and management of contaminated sediments.
    Keywords: Equilibrium Sampling ; Sediment ; Bioaccumulation ; Polychlorinated Biphenyl (Pcb) ; River Elbe ; Freely Dissolved Concentration (Cfree) ; Chemistry ; Ecology
    ISSN: 0045-6535
    E-ISSN: 1879-1298
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Gerontology, April 2011, Vol.57(3), pp.239-246
    Description: Reaching late adulthood is accompanied by losses in physical and mental resources, but lifestyle choices seem to have a considerable influence on the aging trajectory. This review deals with the interplay between cognitive and motor functioning in old age, focusing on two different lines of research, namely (a) dual-task studies requiring participants to perform a cognitive and a motor task simultaneously, and (b) intervention studies investigating whether increases in physical fitness also lead to improvements in cognitive performance. Dual-task studies indicate that healthy older adults show greater performance reductions in both domains than young adults when performing a cognitive and a motor task simultaneously. In addition, older adults often tend to protect their motor functioning at the expense of the cognitive task when the situation involves a threat to balance. This can be considered an adaptive behavior since fall-related injuries can have severe consequences. Fitness intervention studies which increased the aerobic fitness of previously sedentary older adults have demonstrated impressive performance improvements in the cognitive domain, especially for tasks involving executive control processes. These findings are interesting in light of cognitive intervention studies, which often fail to find significant transfer effects to tasks that have not been trained directly. The authors argue that future research should compare the effects of cognitive and aerobic fitness interventions in older adults, and they present a study design in which cognition and fitness are trained sequentially as well as simultaneously. Finally, methodological issues involved in this type of research and potential applications to applied settings are discussed.
    Keywords: Bridging the Gap Between Clinical and Behavioural Gerontology Part I: Promoting Late-Life ; Cognition ; Motor Functioning ; Exercise ; Intervention ; Dual Tasks ; Medicine ; Social Welfare & Social Work ; Anatomy & Physiology
    ISSN: 0304-324X
    E-ISSN: 1423-0003
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Frontiers in psychology, 2013, Vol.4, pp.316
    Description: Theories of motor-skill acquisition postulate that attentional demands of motor execution decrease with practice. Hence, motor experts should experience less attentional resource conflict when performing a motor task in their domain of expertise concurrently with a demanding cognitive task. We assessed cognitive and motor performance in high-heel experts and novices who were performing a working memory task while walking in gym shoes or high heels on a treadmill. Surprisingly, neither group showed lower working memory performance when walking than when sitting, irrespective of shoe type. However, high-heel experts adapted walking regularity more flexibly to shoe type and cognitive load than novices, by reducing the variability of time spent in the single-support phase of the gait cycle in high heels when cognitively challenged. We conclude that high-heel expertise is associated with more flexible adjustments of movement patterns. Future research should investigate whether a more demanding walking task (e.g., wearing high heels on uneven surfaces and during gait perturbations) results in expertise-related differences in the simultaneous execution of a cognitive task.
    Keywords: Cognition ; Dual-Task ; Expertise ; Gait ; Motor Skills
    ISSN: 1664-1078
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