About this Research Topic
When humans perform several tasks simultaneously, overall or specific performance levels decrease in many cases. In multitasking research, this decrease is typically demonstrated in dual-task experiments, which challenge the motor response side only to a minor amount. Nevertheless, interference between motor and cognitive tasks is particularly relevant for everyday activities as well as in doing sports. The number of studies on cognitive-motor interference has therefore grown rapidly in the last years. Many questions, however, are unresolved at this point in time, and this is true for both the conceptual and the empirical side. Bottleneck models, for example, require discrete processing stages and cannot explain dual task costs in continuous tasks like walking or driving. As dynamic and continuous motor tasks raise issues when the response selection bottleneck approach is applied, other models such as crosstalk or capacity sharing, among others, might be more promising. Empirically, the scope of the tasks - be it motor, perceptual, and cognitive - seems limited and needs extensions, posing methodological challenges. Also, approaches to practice and train for tackling performance detriments in multitasking situations due cognitive-motor interference in sports, exercise, in the elderly or in patient groups are needed. Moreover, conditions and possibilities of behavior where cognitive and multitasking behavior do not interfere but even might facilitate each other must be documented and analyzed.
This Research Topic welcomes original studies as well as reviews and position papers on cognitive-motor interference that extend the scope of the existing literature. It also aims to encourage a multidisciplinary approach in an integrative way. Contributors do not necessarily need to address directly applicable mechanisms, but should aim to better understand human multitasking behavior with a focus on cognitive-motor interference. It is foreseen that the topic will also include unexpected results.
Keywords: cognitive, motor, dual-task, learning, multi-task
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