Posture control, aging, and attention resources: models and posture-analysis methods

Neurophysiol Clin. 2008 Dec;38(6):411-21. doi: 10.1016/j.neucli.2008.09.005. Epub 2008 Oct 9.


This paper reviews the literature on balance and cognitive function in normal aging. The first part provides a general background of dual tasking (postural performance under a concurrent cognitive activity) and summarizes the main relevant models capable of explaining the poorer postural performance of older-healthy adults compared to younger-healthy adults: the cross-domain competition model, the nonlinear interaction model, and the task-prioritization model. In the second part, we discuss the main limitations of the traditional-posturographic analyses used in most of the dual-task investigations and explain how these can account for some discrepancies found in the literature. New methods based on the stabilogram-diffusion analysis and the wavelet transform are proposed as better approaches to understand posture control. The advantages of these new methods are illustrated in young adults and elderly people performing a simple postural task (quiet standing) simultaneously with a mental or a spatial task.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Postural Balance / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology