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Behavioral data and neural correlates for postural prioritization and flexible resource allocation in concurrent postural and motor tasks

Authors

  • Cheng-Ya Huang,

    1. Institute of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
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  • Ing-Shiou Hwang

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Allied Health Sciences, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
    2. Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
    • Department of Physical Therapy, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
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Abstract

This study was undertaken to investigate the reciprocity effect between postural and suprapostural performances and its underlying neural mechanisms wherein subjects executed a perceptual-motor suprapostural task and maintained steady upright postures. Fourteen healthy individuals conducted force-matching maneuvers (static vs. dynamic) under two stance conditions (bipedal stance vs. unipedal stance); meanwhile, force-matching error, center of pressure dynamics, event-related potentials (ERPs), and the movement-related potential (MRP) were monitored. The behavioral results showed that force-matching error and postural sway were differently modulated by variations in stance pattern and force-matching version. Increase in postural challenge undermined the precision of static force-matching but facilitated a dynamic force-matching task. Both static and dynamic force-matching tasks improved postural control of unipedal stance but not of bipedal stance, in reference to the control conditions. ERP results revealed a stance-dependent N1 response, which was greater around the parietal cortex in the unipedal stance conditions. Instead, P2 was modulated by the effect of the suprapostural motor task, with a smaller P2 in the right parietal cortex for dynamic force-matching. Spatiotemporal evolution of the MRP commenced at the left frontal-central area and spread bilaterally over the frontal-central and parietal cortex. MRP onset was subject to an analogous interaction effect on force-matching performance. Our findings suggest postural prioritization and a structural alternation effect of stance pattern on postural performance, relevant to implicit expansion and selective allocation of central resources for relative task-loads of a postural-suprapostural task. Hum Brain Mapp, 2013. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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