Influence of sequential vs. simultaneous dual-task exercise training on cognitive function in older adults
journal contributionposted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by Jamie TaitJamie Tait, Rachel DuckhamRachel Duckham, Catherine MilteCatherine Milte, Luana MainLuana Main, Robin DalyRobin Daly
Emerging research indicates that exercise combined with cognitive training may improve cognitive function in older adults. Typically these programs have incorporated sequential training, where exercise and cognitive training are undertaken separately. However, simultaneous or dual-task training, where cognitive and/or motor training are performed simultaneously with exercise, may offer greater benefits. This review summary provides an overview of the effects of combined simultaneous vs. sequential training on cognitive function in older adults. Based on the available evidence, there are inconsistent findings with regard to the cognitive benefits of sequential training in comparison to cognitive or exercise training alone. In contrast, simultaneous training interventions, particularly multimodal exercise programs in combination with secondary tasks regulated by sensory cues, have significantly improved cognition in both healthy older and clinical populations. However, further research is needed to determine the optimal characteristics of a successful simultaneous training program for optimizing cognitive function in older people.