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Postural control and supra-postural integration in situations of body balance perturbation in the elderly

Grant number: 09/11319-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: December 01, 2009 - November 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:Luis Augusto Teixeira
Grantee:Luis Augusto Teixeira
Host Institution: Escola de Educação Física e Esporte (EEFE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Postural control in daily living activities is usually accompanied by a concomitant accomplishment of a supra-postural task. Young individuals have a better ability to execute a supra-postural task while keeping the postural balance in comparison with the elderly. The explanations addressed to the difference in performance are based on the lower attentional processing capacity available, the lower efficiency of sensory integration in postural and high degree of constraint imposed by the supra-postural task in the elderly. However, it is not clear yet how the integration between a supra-postural task and posture control takes place in the elderly according to the participation of attentional mechanisms, sensory integration and the constraint imposed by supra-postural task on postural control. The objective of this project is to investigate anticipatory and reactive postural components involved in the integration of dual task (postural and supra-postural) from young and elderly in terms of (a) predictability of the postural disturbance, (b) the constraint imposed by the supra-postural task to posture control, (c) sensory attenuation and (d) attentional focus. This study will compare elderly and young individuals in the task of maintaining stable upright bipedal stance simultaneously with the support of a metal structure. This structure will allow the release of a weight by the experimenter unpredictably or predictably. In some conditions on the metal structure will be a device for laser emission to be continuously pointed to a circular target. Participants will be instructed to maintain good performance in both postural and supra-postural tasks during weight release. The study will be conducted in four experiments. The first will aim at the integration between postural and supra-postural tasks depending on the predictability of the postural disturbance. The second will evaluate the effect of supra-postural task demand in posture maintenance. In the third and fourth experiments I will verify the effect of the direction of attentional focus and the attenuation of sensory information in the soles of the feet, respectively. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE LIMA-PARDINI, ANDREA CRISTINA; COELHO, DANIEL BOARI; SILVA, MARINA BRITO; AZZI, NAMETALA MAIA; MARTINELLI, ALESSANDRA REZENDE; HORAK, FAY BAHLING; TEIXEIRA, LUIS AUGUSTO. Aging increases flexibility of postural reactive responses based on constraints imposed by a manual task. FRONTIERS IN AGING NEUROSCIENCE, v. 6, . (09/11319-2)

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