Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sitting and thinking, or just sitting?

19.03.2004


Patients recovering from brain injuries such as strokes often experience difficulties carrying out two activities at the same time, according to researchers in the School of Psychology at the University of Reading.



Most of us can walk, cycle or drive and carry on a conversation at the same time because the combination of motor actions is so well-practised it has become automatic. However, when people have to relearn the basic postural control that enables them to sit, stand or walk safely, they need to attend to the individual components, thus limiting the attention capacity available for any other activity.

For example, if asked a question while laying the table, some patients might have to stop, answer the question, then resume laying the table.


Dr Janet Cockburn, along with her colleagues Jason Boyd, Clare Harley and Professor John Wann, has been investigating hand control, walking and sitting in people who are recovering from stroke. The research has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

“We have used a method which identifies the difference between someone’s performance on a task when they devote all their attention to it and when attention is shared with another activity,” says Dr Cockburn. “The research is ongoing, but we have found that patients recovering from brain injuries show greater cognitive-motor interference (CMI) when attempting a combination of activities than do age-matched volunteers.

“However, there are quite wide differences in the extent of interference shown by individual patients. We have not yet been able to identify the most important factors influencing recovery and reduction of CMI, but performance tends to be influenced by age as well as injury.”

The researchers have now begun a study evaluating the benefits of computer-guided practice in motor control, both for recovery of motor skills and for reduction in CMI. ‘Virtual’ environments allow patients access to a range of simulations of everyday activities, matched to their needs and stage of recovery, while also providing instant feedback on performance and progress.

Dr Cockburn said: “If it proves to be successful, this adjunct to conventional therapy will increase patient autonomy and reduce demands on scarce community physiotherapy and occupational therapy resources.”

Craig Hillsley | alfa
Further information:
http://www.reading.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>