The control of dual-tasking effects is a daily challenge in stroke neurorehabilitation. It maybe one of the reasons why there is poor functional prognosis after a stroke in the right hemisphere, which plays a dominant role in posture control. The purpose of this study was to explore cognitive motor interference in right brain-lesioned and healthy subjects maintaining a standing position while performing three different tasks: a control task, a simple attentional task and a complex attentional task. We measured the sway area of the subjects on a force platform, including the center of pressure and its displacements. Results showed that stroke patients presented a reduced postural sway compared to healthy subjects, who were able to maintain their posture while performing a concomitant attentional task in the same dual-tasking conditions. Moreover, in both groups, the postural sway decreased with the increase in attentional load from cognitive tasks. We also noticed that the stability of stroke patients in dual-tasking conditions increased together with the weight-bearing rightward deviation, especially when the attentional load of the cognitive tasks and lower limb motor impairments were high. These results suggest that stroke patients and healthy subjects adopt a similar postural regulation pattern aimed at maintaining stability in dual-tasking conditions involving a static standing position and different attention-related cognitive tasks. Our results indicate that attention processes might facilitate static postural control.
- Attentional tasks
- Postural control