Continuous Cognitive Tasks Improve Postural Control Compared to Discrete Cognitive Tasks

Yves Lajoie, Natalie Richer, Deborah A. Jehu, Ylan Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Research suggests that postural control synergies are sensitive to cognitive manipulations; however, the impact of different types of cognitive tasks on postural control remains inconclusive. The authors examined the effect of discrete and continuous tasks on postural control. Sixteen healthy young adults (M age = 22.7 ± 2.2 years) stood with feet together on a force platform while performing randomly assigned discrete and continuous cognitive tasks. Results demonstrated marked improvements in the area of 95% confidence ellipse and the standard deviation of the center of pressure in the anterior-posterior and medial-lateral directions for continuous compared to discrete tasks. This reinforces the notion that continuous tasks are sufficient in providing less opportunity to consciously attend to postural control, thereby facilitating automatic postural control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-269
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • continuous cognitive task
  • discrete cognitive task
  • dual-task
  • postural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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