Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Does stopping ability measured by an executive function task correlate with rapid postural responses in complex environments?

Class

Article

College

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Faculty Mentor

Dave Bolton

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Cognitive decline predicts fall risk indicating that the brain plays a role in controlling balance. However, we presently lack an understanding of what the brain actually does to avoid falls. The present study investigated how one particular type of cognitive function, response inhibition, contributes to balance. Response inhibition is the ability to stop an automatic, but unwanted action, and is necessary to adapt behavior in complex situations. Stopping ability is often studied with simple hand reactions where participants respond to tones, or visual cues on a computer monitor. While this has provided useful insight in cognitive psychology, it is unclear if such findings are relevant to the specific challenges of coordinating whole-body reactions to avoid a fall. The present study compared performance on a standard cognitive test (Stop Signal Task, SST) with performance on a reactive balance test. Our aim was to determine if the ability to quickly stop unwanted action was preserved across tasks, within individuals. Six, young adults completed cognitive (SST) and balance testing. The SST tests an individual's ability to quickly suppress a visually-cued button press upon hearing a 'stop' tone, and provides a precise response inhibition measure called the Stop Signal Reaction Time (SSRT). Reactive balance was tested by releasing participants from a supported lean position, in situations where the environment was changed while vision was occluded. Upon receiving vision, the participant needed to quickly assess the environment and either take a step, or grab an available handrail to regain balance. Preliminary results revealed SSRT was correlated to step errors when a leg block was unexpectedly present. This indicates that performance on a standardized test of response inhibition is related to performance on a choice-demanding, reactive balance test, and highlights a common underlying neural mechanism for stopping action across different behavipresentation contexts.

Location

The North Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 9:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2018 10:15 AM

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Apr 12th, 9:00 AM Apr 12th, 10:15 AM

Does stopping ability measured by an executive function task correlate with rapid postural responses in complex environments?

The North Atrium

Cognitive decline predicts fall risk indicating that the brain plays a role in controlling balance. However, we presently lack an understanding of what the brain actually does to avoid falls. The present study investigated how one particular type of cognitive function, response inhibition, contributes to balance. Response inhibition is the ability to stop an automatic, but unwanted action, and is necessary to adapt behavior in complex situations. Stopping ability is often studied with simple hand reactions where participants respond to tones, or visual cues on a computer monitor. While this has provided useful insight in cognitive psychology, it is unclear if such findings are relevant to the specific challenges of coordinating whole-body reactions to avoid a fall. The present study compared performance on a standard cognitive test (Stop Signal Task, SST) with performance on a reactive balance test. Our aim was to determine if the ability to quickly stop unwanted action was preserved across tasks, within individuals. Six, young adults completed cognitive (SST) and balance testing. The SST tests an individual's ability to quickly suppress a visually-cued button press upon hearing a 'stop' tone, and provides a precise response inhibition measure called the Stop Signal Reaction Time (SSRT). Reactive balance was tested by releasing participants from a supported lean position, in situations where the environment was changed while vision was occluded. Upon receiving vision, the participant needed to quickly assess the environment and either take a step, or grab an available handrail to regain balance. Preliminary results revealed SSRT was correlated to step errors when a leg block was unexpectedly present. This indicates that performance on a standardized test of response inhibition is related to performance on a choice-demanding, reactive balance test, and highlights a common underlying neural mechanism for stopping action across different behavipresentation contexts.