Multi-task prioritization during the performance of a postural–manual and communication task
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Individuals are often required to complete two tasks simultaneously, such as walking while talking. Although the influence of performing a cognitive task during upright standing has been studied, less is known regarding how individuals prioritize the performance of multiple goal-directed tasks. The purpose of this study was to examine how young adults prioritize the performance of two goal-directed tasks while standing: generating speech (communicating) while performing a postural–manual task. Fifteen young adult female participants completed four conditions of the postural–manual task, quietly and while talking; a control condition of speech while standing was also completed. Task accuracy was defined as holding a block within an opening without hitting the perimeter and speaking clearly. Participants generally prioritized accurate communication over accurate completion of the postural–manual task, as evidenced by modifying their manual and postural strategies and decreasing manual accuracy.
KeywordsMulti-task Speech Posture Balance Communication
The authors would like to thank Jiyeon Lee for her contributions to the development of linguistic measures for this study and Sandy Snyder for her support with organization. We would also like to thank the following students who made significant contributions to data collection and analysis: Julia Bergmann, Stacia Braden, Kelsey Russell, Brianna Kiefer, and Anny Alvar.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors report no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants
All procedures were approved by the Purdue institutional review board and were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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