Prioritizing attention on a reaction time task improves postural control and reaction time

Deborah A. Jehu, Alyssa Desponts, Nicole Paquet, Yves Lajoie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Flexible and appropriate allocation of attention resources is important during dual-tasking to achieve task goals while maintaining postural safety. This pilot study aimed to examine the influence of explicit prioritization of attention on the dual-task paradigm by employing two levels of difficulty for the postural tasks and reaction time (RT) tasks in healthy young adults. The task entailed standing on a force platform on two feet or on one foot, attending to posture or RT, and completing a simple or choice RT task. Participants verbally responded "top" as soon as the light cue illuminated. In general, attending to RT produced faster RTs (F(1,19) = 30.9, p < 0.001) and improved center of pressure (COP) Displacement (F(1,19) = 5.1, p < 0.05) and 95% Area Ellipse (F(1,19) = 7.1, p < 0.05). These findings suggest that prioritizing attention away from posture may be beneficial for postural performance when completing a second task.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Center of pressure
  • Dual-task
  • Prioritization
  • Reaction time
  • Task complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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