Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Andrew Johnson


Performing two tasks at once (dual-tasking) is a common part of our daily lives, and this practice can impact on individual performance of one (or both) tasks. For example, walking while talking can produce dual-task interference that may alter gait parameters, lead to postural instability and increase one’s risk of falling. The impact of dual-task interference is dependent upon age, as well as other factors specific to the secondary task. The current study employed a dual-task paradigm to examine the impact of task complexity, articulation, task type, and age on gait. Participants were asked to walk a distance of approximately 20 feet while performing working memory tasks. Results suggest that both articulation and task complexity hamper gait performance, and that dual-task interference increases with age. Furthermore, these results indirectly suggest that some of the effects of task complexity may be nullified through the use of auditory cueing. [147 words]



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