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1- Student Research Committee, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2- Neuroscience Laboratory (Brain, Cognition and Behavior), Department of Neuroscience, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
3- Department of Physical Therapy, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
4- Rehabilitation Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
5- Department of Neuroscience, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Abstract:  
Purpose: To investigate the effect of predictable and unpredictable external perturbation on cortical activity in healthy young and older adults.
Methods: Twenty healthy older and nineteen healthy young adults were exposed to predictable and unpredictable external perturbations. The coherence z-scores and spectral power of cortical oscillations upon postural recovery were measured using a 32-channel quantitative encephalography (QEEG). The absolute power and coherence of cortical waves were analyzed through a 3-way mixed design ANOVA in both predictable and unpredictable perturbation tasks.
Results: During postural recovery from predictable perturbations, older adults exhibited higher frontoparietal beta power as well as higher alpha and beta coherence during the late-phase recovery than the young individuals. After unpredictable perturbations, the older group showed lower alpha power in the early phase and higher beta power in the late phase as compared to the young group. Results for the group×time interaction and group×location interaction in the older group showed a higher alpha and beta coherence over the late phase, as well as higher alpha coherence in F3−P3 and F4−P4 regions, and higher beta coherence in the F4−P4 region as compared to the younger group for both band spectra.
Conclusion: Our results revealed that cortical activation after external perturbations increases with aging, particularly in frontoparietal areas. A shift from automatic (subcortical level) to attentional (cortical level) processing may reflect the contribution of attentional resources for postural recovery from an external threat in older populations.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Clinical Neuroscience
Received: 2019/06/17 | Accepted: 2019/12/16 | Published: 2018/03/15

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