Dual Task and Split-Belt Adaptation in Young Boys
- *Corresponding Author:
- Amber Chelette
3855 Holman Rd, Rm 104 Garrison
Houston, Texas 77204-6015
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: September 26, 2014; Accepted Date: November 19, 2014; Published Date: November 24, 2014
Citation: Chelette AM, Pourmoghaddam A, Layne CS (2014) Dual Task and Split-Belt Adaptation in Young Boys. Int J Phys Med Rehabil 2:247. doi: 10.4172/2329-9096.1000247
Copyright: © 2014 Chelette AM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: While it is thought that normal walking can operate almost completely under spinal control, adaptation to changes in the environment may require higher-level cognitive resources. In adults, the addition of a secondary task resulted in changes in the adaptation to a split-belt walking task that supported a division between spinal and supraspinal mediation of gait adaptation. However, children are still developing both physical and cognitive abilities, and may not be able to employ the same strategies as adults. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the role of attention during adaptation to split-belt treadmill walking in young boys as well as to determine which parameters of gait adaptation require more cognitive resources than others. Methods: Using a Dual Task Model, eight boys aged 8-10 years old completed three experimental conditions. The first was an auditory attention task. The second was a split-belt walking task. In the third task, participants completed both tasks simultaneously. Gait variables double support time, step length, stance time and stride length were analyzed. Double support time and step length are presumed to be moderated by supraspinal processes and were hypothesized to be the most affected by the Dual Task condition. Results: A repeated measures ANOVA revealed that, contrary to our hypothesis, stance time and stride length both increased with the addition of the attention task, whereas double support time and step length were not affected. Conclusions: The results suggest that maturing children utilize different control strategies than adults for splitbelt adaptation.