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Planning and task management in Parkinson's disease: Differential emphasis in dual-task performance

  • ELLEN BIALYSTOK (a1) (a2), FERGUS I.M. CRAIK (a2) (a3) and TARESA STEFURAK (a3) (a4)

Abstract

Seventeen patients diagnosed with Parkinson's disease completed a complex computer-based task that involved planning and management while also performing an attention-demanding secondary task. The tasks were performed concurrently, but it was necessary to switch from one to the other. Performance was compared to a group of healthy age-matched control participants and a group of young participants. Parkinson's patients performed better than the age-matched controls on almost all measures and as well as the young controls in many cases. However, the Parkinson's patients achieved this by paying relatively less attention to the secondary task and focusing attention more on the primary task. Thus, Parkinson's patients can apparently improve their performance on some aspects of a multidimensional task by simplifying task demands. This benefit may occur as a consequence of their inflexible exaggerated attention to some aspects of a complex task to the relative neglect of other aspects. (JINS, 2008, 14, 257–265.)

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to: Professor Ellen Bialystok, Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3. E-mail: ellenb@yorku.ca

References

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Keywords

Planning and task management in Parkinson's disease: Differential emphasis in dual-task performance

  • ELLEN BIALYSTOK (a1) (a2), FERGUS I.M. CRAIK (a2) (a3) and TARESA STEFURAK (a3) (a4)

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