The Learning Effects of Attentional Strategy on Dual-task Walking in Patients With Parkinson's Disease: Behavioral Performance and Neural Plasticity

2019-04-03 09:44:28 | BioPortfolio



1. To compare the effects of dual-task training with two different task priority instruction in people with Parkinson's disease and healthy controls on dual-task weight shifting performances.

2. Investigate the changes of brain activities and functional connectivity after dual-task training with different task priority instructions.

[year 2-3]

To investigate the learning effects of walking with internal/external focus on walking automaticity and brain plasticity in dual-task walking training for PD patients with/without freezing of gait.


Postural-suprapostural task is defined as postural control takes place while another concurrent task is being performed, belonging to dual-task paradigms. Effective dual-task training is important to patients with Parkinson disease (PD), because they often lose balance and fall in dual-task conditions. Attentional strategy includes 1) task-priority between postural and suprapostural tasks and 2) internal and external focus for the postural task, which is the critical factor for both dual-task control and motor learning. However, the appropriateness of attentional strategy has not been investigated in dual-task training in patients with PD. Besides, there is lack of neural evidence of brain plasticity for previous studies about dual-task training in patients with PD. With the uses of EEG, EMG and behavioral measures, the purpose of this 3-year research project is to investigate the differences in performance quality and intrinsic neural mechanisms of dual-task training in PD, by adopting task-priority strategy and internal/external strategy during weight-shifting and walking. In the first year, the investigators will characterize task-priority effect (posture-priority vs. supraposture-priority) on dual-task training, with a special focus on modulation of brain plasticity and muscle activity patterns in weight-shifting posture for patients with PD. In the second and third years, the learning effects of walking internal/external focus on walking automaticity and brain plasticity will be investigated in dual-task walking training for PD patients with/without freezing of gait. Besides, the transfer effects of dual-task learning will be also investigated on medication "off" state. The present project is expected to have significant contributions not only to gain a better insight to neural correlates of dual-task training with different attentional strategies under weight-shifting and walking, but to optimize treatment strategy for PD patients with balance or dual-tasking disturbances.

Study Design


Parkinson Disease


[year1] dual-task training with task priority strategy, [year2-3] dual-task training with internal and external focus


National Taiwan University Hospital




National Taiwan University Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-04-03T09:44:28-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

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A procedure consisting of a sequence of algebraic formulas and/or logical steps to calculate or determine a given task.

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