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 New nanomedicine slips through the cracks
24.04.2019 | University of Tokyo

nachricht Sugar entering the brain during septic shock causes memory loss
23.04.2019 | Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

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: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Proteins stand up to nerve cell regression

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

New sensor detects rare metals used in smartphones

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Controlling instabilities gives closer look at chemistry from hypersonic vehicles

24.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>