Liebherr, Magnus, Weiland-Breckle, Hanna ORCID: 0000-0002-6337-6887, Grewe, Tanja and Schumacher, Petra B. ORCID: 0000-0003-0263-8502 (2018). Cognitive performance under motor demands – On the influence of task difficulty and postural control. Brain Research, 1684. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0006-8993

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We often walk around when we have to think about something, but suddenly stop when we are confronted with a demanding cognitive task, such as calculating 1540*24. While previous neurophysiological research investigated cognitive and motor performance separately, findings that combine both are rare. To get a deeper understanding of the influence of motor demands as well as the difficulty of a simultaneously performed cognitive task, we investigated 20 healthy individuals. Participants performed two cognitive tasks with different levels of difficulty while sitting or standing on one leg. In addition to behavioral data, we recorded the electroencephalogram from 26Ag/AgCI scalp electrodes. The critical time-windows, predefined by visual inspection, yielded an early (200–300 ms, P2) and a subsequent positivity (350–500 ms, P3). Statistical analysis of the early time window registered a motor × cognition interaction. Resolution of this interaction revealed an effect of the cognitive task in the one-legged stance motor condition, with a more pronounced positivity for the difficult task. No significant differences between cognitive tasks emerged for the simple motor condition. The time-window between 350 and 500 ms registered main effects of the motor task and a trend for the cognitive task. While the influence of cognitive task difficulty (in the P3) is in accordance with previous studies, the motor task effect is specific to one-legged stance (cf. no effects for running in previous research). The motor-cognition interaction found in the P2 indicates that the more difficult motor task (one-legged stance) facilitates cognitive task performance.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Schumacher, Petra
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-376682
DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2018.01.025
Journal or Publication Title: Brain Research
Volume: 1684
Page Range: pp. 1-8
Date: 1 February 2018
ISSN: 0006-8993
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Zentrale Forschungseinrichtungen > Cologne Center of Language Sciences - Kölner Zentrum Sprachwissenschaften (CCLS)
Subjects: Language, Linguistics
Refereed: Yes


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