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Neuromuscular assessment of force development, postural, and gait performance under cognitive-motor dual-tasking in healthy older adults and early Parkinson's disease patients : study protocol for a cross-sectional Mobile Brain/Body Imaging (MoBI) study
Uroš Marušič, Manca Peskar, Maja Maša Šömen, Miloš Kalc, Aleš Holobar, Klaus Gramann, Bettina Wollesen, Anna Wunderlich, Christoph M. Michel, Aleksandar Miladinović, Mauro Catalan, Alex B. Stella, Miloš Ajčević, Paolo Manganotti, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Neuromuscular dysfunction is common in older adults and more pronounced in neurodegenerative diseases. In Parkinson's disease (PD), a complex set of factors often prevents the effective performance of activities of daily living that require intact and simultaneous performance of the motor and cognitive tasks. Methods: The cross-sectional study includes a multifactorial mixed-measure design. Between-subject factor grouping the sample will be Parkinson’s Disease (early PD vs. healthy). The within-subject factors will be the task complexity (single- vs. dual-task) in each motor activity, i.e., overground walking, semi-tandem stance, and isometric knee extension, and a walking condition (wide vs. narrow lane) will be implemented for the overground walking activity only. To study dual-task (DT) effects, in each motor activity participants will be given a secondary cognitive task, i.e., a visual discrimination task for the overground walking, an attention task for the semi-tandem, and mental arithmetic for the isometric extension. Analyses of DT effects and underlying neuronal correlates will focus on both gait and cognitive performance where applicable. Based on an a priori sample size calculation, a total N = 42 older adults (55-75 years) will be recruited. Disease-specific changes such as laterality in motor unit behavior and cortical control of movement will be studied with high-density surface electromyography and electroencephalography during static and dynamic motor activities, together with whole-body kinematics. Discussion: This study will be one of the first to holistically address early PD neurophysiological and neuromuscular patterns in an ecologically valid environment under cognitive-motor DT conditions of different complexities. The outcomes of the study aim to identify the biomarker for early PD either at the electrophysiological, muscular or kinematic level or in the communication between these systems.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease, mobile brain imaging, body brain imaging, MoBi, dual tasking, neuromuscular function, older adults
Published in DiRROS: 15.09.2023; Views: 165; Downloads: 71
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Stroop in motion : neurodynamic modulation underlying interference control while sitting, standing, and walking
Manca Peskar, Nina Omejc, Maja Maša Šömen, Aleksandar Miladinović, Klaus Gramann, Uroš Marušič, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: There is conflicting evidence about how interference control in healthy adults is affected by walking as compared to standing or sitting. Although the Stroop paradigm is one of the best-studied paradigms to investigate interference control, the neurodynamics associated with the Stroop task during walking have never been studied. We investigated three Stroop tasks using variants with increasing interference levels – word-reading, ink-naming, and the switching of the two tasks, combined in a systematic dual-tasking fashion with three motor conditions – sitting, standing, and treadmill walking. Neurodynamics underlying interference control were recorded using the electroencephalogram. Worsened performance was observed for the incongruent compared to congruent trials and for the switching Stroop compared to the other two variants. The early frontocentral event-related potentials (ERPs) associated with executive functions (P2, N2) differentially signaled posture-related workloads, while the later stages of information processing indexed faster interference suppression and response selection in walking compared to static conditions. The early P2 and N2 components as well as frontocentral Theta and parietal Alpha power were sensitive to increasing workloads on the motor and cognitive systems. The distinction between the type of load (motor and cognitive) became evident only in the later posterior ERP components in which the amplitude non-uniformly reflected the relative attentional demand of a task. Our data suggest that walking might facilitate selective attention and interference control in healthy adults. Existing interpretations of ERP components recorded in stationary settings should be considered with care as they might not be directly transferable to mobile settings.
Keywords: Stroop task, mobile brain imaging, mobile body imaging, event-related potential, dual tasking
Published in DiRROS: 29.03.2023; Views: 259; Downloads: 152
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Does standing up enhance performance on the stroop task in healthy young adults? : a systematic review and meta-analysis
Maja Maša Šömen, Manca Peskar, Bettina Wollesen, Klaus Gramann, Uroš Marušič, 2023, review article

Abstract: Understanding the changes in cognitive processing that accompany changes in posture can expand our understanding of embodied cognition and open new avenues for applications in (neuro)ergonomics. Recent studies have challenged the question of whether standing up alters cognitive performance. An electronic database search for randomized controlled trials was performed using Academic Search Complete, CINAHL Ultimate, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Web of Science following PRISMA guidelines, PICOS framework, and standard quality assessment criteria (SQAC). We pooled data from a total of 603 healthy young adults for incongruent and 578 for congruent stimuli and Stroop effect (mean age = 24 years). Using random-effects results, no difference was found between sitting and standing for the Stroop effect (Hedges’ g = 0.13, 95% CI = −0.04 to 0.29, p = 0.134), even when comparing congruent (Hedges’ g = 0.10; 95% CI: −0.132 to 0.339; Z = 0.86; p = 0.389) and incongruent (Hedges’ g = 0.18; 95% CI: −0.072 to 0.422; Z = 1.39; p = 0.164) stimuli separately. Importantly, these results imply that changing from a seated to a standing posture in healthy young adults is unlikely to have detrimental effects on selective attention and cognitive control. To gain a full understanding of this phenomenon, further research should examine this effect in a population of healthy older adults, as well as in a population with pathology.
Keywords: healthy young adults, dual tasks, posture, Stroop task, cognitive-motor interference, sit-to-stand workstations
Published in DiRROS: 30.01.2023; Views: 256; Downloads: 141
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Dual-task performance in hearing-impaired older adults : study protocol for a cross-sectional mobile brain/body imaging study
Anna Wunderlich, Oliver Vogel, Maja Maša Šömen, Manca Peskar, Madeleine Fricke, Klaus Gramann, Janna Protzak, Uroš Marušič, Bettina Wollesen, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Hearing impairments are associated with reduced walking performance under Dual-task (DT) conditions. Little is known about the neural representation of DT performance while walking in this target group compared to healthy controls or younger adults. Therefore, utilizing the Mobile Brain/Body Imaging approach (MoBI), we aim at gaining deeper insights into the brain dynamics underlying the interaction of cognitive and motor processes during different DT conditions (visual and auditory) controlling for age and the potential performance decrements of older adults with hearing impairments. Methods: The cross-sectional study integrates a multifactorial mixed-measure design. Between-subject factors grouping the sample will be age (younger vs. older adults) and hearing impairment (mild vs. not hearing impaired). The within-subject factors will be the task complexity (single- vs. DT) and cognitive task modality (visual vs. auditory). Stimuli of the cognitive task will vary according to the stimulus modality (visual vs. auditory), presentation side (left vs. right), and presentation-response compatibility (ipsilateral vs. contralateral). Analyses of DT costs and underlying neuronal correlates focus either on gait or cognitive performance. Based on an a priori sample size calculation 96 (48 healthy and 48 mildly hearing impaired) community-dwelling older adults (50%70 years) and 48 younger adults (20%30 years) will be recruited. Gait parameters of speed and rhythm will be captured. EEG activity will be recorded using 64 active electrodes. Discussion: The study evaluates cognitive-motor interference (CMI) in groups of young and older adults as well as older adults with hearing impairment. The underlying processes of the interaction between motor and cognitive tasks will be identified at a behavioral and neurophysiological level comparing an auditory or a visual secondary task. We assume that performance differences are linked to different cognitive-motor processes, i.e., stimulus input, resource allocation, and movement execution. Moreover, for the different DT conditions (auditory vs. visual) we assume performance decrements within the auditory condition, especially for older, hearing-impaired adults. Findings will provide evidence of general mechanisms of CMI (ST vs. DT walking) as well as task-specific effects in dual-task performance while over ground walking.
Keywords: older adults, overground walking, dual-tasks, MoBi, hearing impairments
Published in DiRROS: 23.11.2021; Views: 599; Downloads: 609
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