Greater Cognitive-Motor Interference in Individuals Post-Stroke during More Complex Motor Tasks

Jordyn Rice, Daniel T. Corp, Alessandra Swarowsky, Lawrence P. Cahalin, Danylo F. Cabral, Christina Nunez, Sebastian Koch, Tatjana Rundek, Joyce Gomes-Osman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Purpose: Dual-task (DT) walking assessments allow for the simultaneous evaluation of cognitive and motor performance. During DT walking, individuals may experience interference in one or both tasks, known as cognitive-motor interference (CMI). The primary purpose of this study was to compare CMI between individuals post-stroke and healthy persons group during single- and dual-motor and cognitive tasks, using 2 distinct walking tasks. Methods: Motor performance was quantified as the total time for the Timed Up and Go (TUG) and gait speed for the 90-second walk (90W). Cognitive performance was measured as the correct response rate (CRR) during serial 7 subtractions. Participants performed the motor and cognitive tasks in isolation for the single-task (ST) and simultaneously for DT conditions, TUG-DT and 90W-DT. A repeated-measures analysis of variance assessed group (poststroke and healthy) by condition (ST and DT) interactions for the TUG, 90W, and CRR. Results: There were significant main effects of group and condition for both the TUG and the 90W (P < 0.05). There was also an interaction effect for the TUG, with individuals post-stroke demonstrating a larger decrement in TUG-DT performance compared with healthy persons (P < 0.05). Furthermore, a significant interaction effect was observed for the CRR, in which healthy individuals exhibited a greater decrement in performance from the ST to the 90W-DT (P < 0.05). Discussion and Conclusions: Individuals post-stroke were susceptible to greater motor interference during the more complex motor task, the TUG-DT. However, the only decrements observed in cognitive performance from the ST to DT occurred in healthy individuals during the 90W-DT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurologic Physical Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive-motor interference
  • Dual task
  • Stroke
  • Timed Up and Go

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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