Journal Article

Visuomotor control dynamics of quiet standing under single and dual task conditions in younger and older adults


Visual input facilitates stable postural control; however, ageing alters visual gaze strategies and visual input processing times. Understanding the complex interaction between visual gaze behaviour and the effects of age may inform future interventions to improve postural control in older adults. The purpose of this study was to determine effects of age and dual task on gaze and postural sway dynamics, and the sway-gaze complexity coupling to explore the coupling between sensory input and motor output. Ten older and 10 younger adults performed single and dual task quiet standing while gaze behaviour and centre of mass motion were recorded. The complexity and stability of postural sway, saccade characteristics, visual input duration and complexity of gaze were calculated in addition to sway-gaze coupling quantified by cross-sample entropy. Dual tasking increased complexity and decreased stability of sway with increased gaze complexity and visual input duration, suggesting greater automaticity of sway with greater exploration of the visual field but with longer visual inputs to maintain postural stability in dual task conditions. In addition, older adults had lower complexity and stability of sway than younger adults indicating less automated and stable postural control. Older adults also demonstrated lower gaze complexity, longer visual input durations and greater sway-gaze coupling. These findings suggest older adults adopted a strategy to increase the capacity for visual information input, whilst exploring less of the visual field than younger adults. 

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Walsh, Gregory

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-07-20

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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