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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 170304, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/170304
Research Article

Allocation of Attentional Resources toward a Secondary Cognitive Task Leads to Compromised Ankle Proprioceptive Performance in Healthy Young Adults

1Global Robot Academia Laboratory, Green Computing Systems Research Organization, Waseda University, 27 Waseda-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-0042, Japan
2Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering, Waseda University, 3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan

Received 22 October 2013; Accepted 14 December 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: K. S. Sunnerhagen

Copyright © 2014 Kazuhiro Yasuda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to determine whether increased attentional demands influence the assessment of ankle joint proprioceptive ability in young adults. We used a dual-task condition, in which participants performed an ankle ipsilateral position-matching task with and without a secondary serial auditory subtraction task during target angle encoding. Two experiments were performed with two different cohorts: one in which the auditory subtraction task was easy (experiment 1a) and one in which it was difficult (experiment 1b). The results showed that, compared with the single-task condition, participants had higher absolute error under dual-task conditions in experiment 1b. The reduction in position-matching accuracy with an attentionally demanding cognitive task suggests that allocation of attentional resources toward a difficult second task can lead to compromised ankle proprioceptive performance. Therefore, these findings indicate that the difficulty level of the cognitive task might be the possible critical factor that decreased accuracy of position-matching task. We conclude that increased attentional demand with difficult cognitive task does influence the assessment of ankle joint proprioceptive ability in young adults when measured using an ankle ipsilateral position-matching task.