The effect of dual-task difficulty on the inhibition of the motor cortex

Corp, Daniel T., Rogers, Mark A., Youssef, George J. and Pearce, Alan J. 2016, The effect of dual-task difficulty on the inhibition of the motor cortex, Experimental brain research, vol. 234, no. 2, pp. 443-452, doi: 10.1007/s00221-015-4479-2.

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Title The effect of dual-task difficulty on the inhibition of the motor cortex
Author(s) Corp, Daniel T.ORCID iD for Corp, Daniel T.
Rogers, Mark A.ORCID iD for Rogers, Mark A.
Youssef, George J.ORCID iD for Youssef, George J.
Pearce, Alan J.
Journal name Experimental brain research
Volume number 234
Issue number 2
Start page 443
End page 452
Total pages 10
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-02
ISSN 1432-1106
Keyword(s) Difficulty
Motor cortex
Summary Dual-tasking is intrinsic to many daily activities, including walking and driving. However, the activity of the primary motor cortex (M1) in response to dual-tasks (DT) is still not well characterised. A recent meta-analysis (Corp in Neurosci Biobehav Rev 43:74-87, 2014) demonstrated a reduction in M1 inhibition during dual-tasking, yet responses were not consistent between studies. It was suggested that DT difficulty might account for some of this between-study variability. The aim of this study was to investigate whether corticospinal excitability and M1 inhibition differed between an easier and more difficult dual-task. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied to participants' abductor pollicis brevis muscle representation during a concurrent pincer grip task and stationary bike-riding. The margin of error in which to maintain pincer grip force was reduced to increase task difficulty. Compared to ST conditions, significantly increased M1 inhibition was demonstrated for the easier, but not more difficult, DT. However, there was no significant difference in M1 inhibition between easy and difficult DTs. The difference in difficulty between the two tasks may not have been wide enough to result in significant differences in M1 inhibition. Increased M1 inhibition for the easy DT condition was in opposition to the reduction in M1 inhibition found in our meta-analysis (Corp in Neurosci Biobehav Rev 43:74-87, 2014). We propose that this may be partially explained by differences in the timing of the TMS pulse between DT studies.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s00221-015-4479-2
Field of Research 170299 Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer International Publishing
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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