University of Washington

Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Factors influencing dynamic prioritization during dual-task walking in healthy young adults


Kelly VE, Eusterbrock AJ, Shumway-Cook A



Publication Info:

Gait Posture, 37(1):131-134


Appropriate prioritization during dual-task walking is necessary to achieve task goals and maintain walking stability. We examined the effects of increased walking task difficulty on dual-task walking prioritization in healthy young adults. Walking under simple usual-base conditions was similar between equal-focus and cognitive-focus instructions, but these differed from walking-focus instructions, consistent with cognitive task prioritization. In contrast, narrow-base walking was similar between equal-focus and walking-focus instructions, but these differed from cognitive-focus instructions. This shift in prioritization with increasing walking task difficulty suggests that prioritization is dynamic and flexible.

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