Master of Science
Nagamatsu, Lindsay S.
Approximately 30% of older adults experience one or more falls annually. The ability to properly allocate attention may be a risk factor falls. Our study examined whether older adults (aged 58-79) with a history of falls, allocated attention differently to auditory distractor stimuli compared to those without a history of falls, and whether such differences subsequently altered cognitive processing of visual target stimuli. We examined allocation of attention using event-related potentials (ERPs) as participants responded to visual targets while ignoring task-irrelevant auditory distractors. A posterior to anterior shift in electrical brain activity was exaggerated in the faller group compared to the non-faller group when cognitively processing the visual target stimuli. This suggests differences in the way stimuli are cognitively processed and classified between fallers and non-fallers.
Keywords: falls, attention, allocation, risk, EEG, ERP, cross-modal, older adults.
Parrot-Migas, Phil, "Is Allocation of Attention Impaired in Fallers Compared to Non-Fallers? An Event-Related Potential Study" (2017). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 4957.