Low educational status restrains mental resources management in dual tasks

  • Mariane A. Machado Department of Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
  • Mariana C. Voos Department of Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
  • Patrícia S. Teixeira Department of Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
  • Maria E. Piemonte Department of Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
  • Luiz Eduardo R. do Valle Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil

Abstract

Abstract: Some studies have reported the influence of educational status on visual and motor tasks. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of adults with low (2.3±1.9 years of formal education) and high educational status (16.1±4.0 years) in a dual-task, composed of a visual and a motor task performed simultaneously. The visual task consisted of the presentation of two pictures that had to be verbally classified as equal or different. The motor task consisted of alternating steps from the floor to a stool. The tasks were assessed individually (simple-task) and associated (dual-task), and the performance in each condition was compared by ANOVAs. The low educational status group (LESG) committed more errors in the visual stimuli classification and performed a lower number of alternations of steps per second when compared to the high educational status group (HESG). During the dual-task performance, visual task errors increased and the number of alternations of steps per second decreased for both groups, in comparison with the single-task. However, the LESG was less accurate at classifying the stimuli during the dual-task condition than the HESG. Our findings suggest that having only a few years of formal education might decrease the ability to manage mental resources in dual-tasks.

Key Words: Tasks performance and analysis, attention, motor activity, educational status, visual perception.

Section
Research Articles