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EEG beta-modulations reflect age-specific motor resource allocation during dual-task walking

  • Protzak, Janna
  • Gramann, Klaus
Publication Date
Dec 09, 2021
DOI: 10.14279/depositonce-12781
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The parallel execution of two motor tasks can lead to performance decrements in either one or both of the tasks. Age-related declines can further magnify the underlying competition for cognitive resources. However, little is known about the neural dynamics underlying motor resource allocation during dual-task walking. To better understand motor resource conflicts, this study investigated sensorimotor brain rhythms in younger and older adults using a dual-task protocol. Time-frequency data from two independent component motor clusters were extracted from electroencephalography data during sitting and walking with an additional task requiring manual responses. Button press-related desynchronization in the alpha and beta frequency range were analyzed for the impact of age (< 35 years, ≥ 70 years) and motor task (sitting, walking). Button press-related desynchronization in the beta band was more pronounced for older participants and both age groups demonstrated less pronounced desynchronizations in both frequency bands during walking compared to sitting. Older participants revealed less power modulations between sitting and walking, and less pronounced changes in beta and alpha suppression were associated with greater slowing in walking speed. Our results indicate age-specific allocations strategies during dual-task walking as well as interdependencies of concurrently performed motor tasks reflected in modulations of sensorimotor rhythms. / TU Berlin, Open-Access-Mittel – 2021

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