Cognitive-motor interference during walking

This interdisciplinary program of research focuses on the interactions between cognitive and motor functions during walking in people after stroke, as well as healthy young and older adults.

    Current research projects include:

  1. Examining age-related changes in gait-related cognitive-motor interference during continuous walking.
  2. Investigating the impact of cognitive-motor interference on community mobility and participation in community-dwelling individuals post stroke.
  3. Studying the reacquisition of dual task walking ability in people recovering from stroke.
  4. Examining the effect of environmental factors and locomotor task complexity on attentional control and cognitive-motor interference during walking.
  5. Developing and testing rehabilitation interventions to reduce dual task interference during walking in older adults and people with stroke.


Lori J. P. Altmann, Ph.D.
Department of Speech Language and Hearing, University of Florida

Dagmar Sternad, Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Biology, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Physics, Northeastern University

Bijan Najafi, Ph.D.
Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR), Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Raymond Villalobos, M.D.
New England Rehabilitation Hospital, Woburn, MA

Kevin Reilly, Ph.D.
Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Northeastern University

Related publications:

  1. Plummer-D’Amato P, Kyvelidou A, Sternad D, Najafi B, Villalobos RM, Zurakowski D. Training dual-task walking in community-dwelling adults within 1 year of stroke: A protocol for a single-blind randomized controlled trial. BMC Neurology 2012;12:129.
  2. Plummer-D’Amato P, Brancato B, Dantowitz M, Birken S, Bonke C, Furey E. Effects of gait and cognitive task difficulty on cognitive-motor interference in aging. Journal of Aging Research 2012, Article ID 583894, 8 pages. doi:10.1155/2012/583894.
  3. Plummer-D’Amato P, Shea G, Dowd C. Motor versus cognitive dual-task effects on obstacle negotiation in older adults. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation . 2012;19(4):200-207.
  4. Plummer-D’Amato P, Cohen Z, Daee NA, Lawson SE, Lizotte MR, Padilla A. Effects of once weekly dual-task training in older adults: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Geriatrics and Gerontology International. 2012;12:622–629.
  5. Plummer-D’Amato P, Altmann LJP. Relationships between motor function and gait-related dual-task interference after stroke: a pilot study. Gait & Posture. 2012;35:170-172.
  6. Plummer-D’Amato P, Altmann LJP, Reilly K. Dual-task effects of spontaneous speech and executive function on gait and aging: Exaggerated effects in slow walkers. Gait & Posture. 2011;33:233-237.
  7. Plummer-D’Amato P, Altmann LJP, Behrman AL, & Marsiske M. Interference between cognition, double limb support, and swing during gait in community-dwelling individuals post stroke. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. 2010;24(6):542-549.
  8. Rogalski Y, Altmann LJP, Plummer-D’Amato P, Behrman AL, & Marsiske M.Discourse coherence and cognition after stroke: A dual task study.Journal of Communication Disorders. 2010:43:212-224.
  9. Plummer-D’Amato P, Altmann LJP, Saracino D, Fox E, Behrman AL, & Marsiske M. Interactions between cognitive tasks and gait after stroke: A dual task study.  Gait & Posture.  2008;27:683-688.


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