Publication: Do 5-Year-Old Children Perform Dual-Task Coordination Better Than AD Patients?
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A cross-sectional study was carried out to examine the pattern of changes in the capacity to coordinate attention between two simultaneously performed tasks in a group of 570 volunteers, from 5 to 17 years old. Method: The results revealed that the ability to coordinate attention increases with age, reaching adult values by age 15 years. Also, these results were compared with the performance in the same dual task of healthy elderly and Alzheimer disease (AD) patients found in a previous study. Results: The analysis indicated that AD patients showed a lower dual-tasking capacity than 5-year-old children, whereas the elderly presented a significantly higher ability than 5-year-old children and no significant differences with respect to young adults. Conclusion: These findings may suggest the presence of a working memory system’s mechanism that enables the division of attention, which is strengthened by the maturation of prefrontal cortex, and impaired in AD. (J. of Att. Dis. 2016; 20(2) 87-95)