Balance demands and cogntive function
May, Bryson Elaine
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of balance disruption induced by wearing a weighted backpack on the cognitive functions of volunteers recruited from the UGA Army and Air Force ROTC. Participants performed a dual task protocol, consisting of a balance task on the NeuroCom Smart Balance master and an auditory switch-task, with or without an additional 30% body weight load. A significant main effect for balance data was found for both load type and balance condition. Main effects were found for the proportion of participants’ errors scores for load type. An interaction between load type and task type was identified. Dual-tasking methodologies suggest military personnel can maintain the timing of executive processes despite increased disturbance in balance; however, the accuracy of their responses may decrease their effectiveness in the field.