Halo Sport Ergonomic Effects on Older Adults’ Cognitive and Motor Performance
Kristina Cavey, Abi Auten, Fabio Fontana, Sophia Min, Terence Moriarty
Background: Aging has been linked to a decline in cognitive and motor function due to inefficiencies in the central and peripheral nervous system. Any such technique which may improve the aforementioned difficulties in older adults may help their overall quality of life. The purpose of the current study was to determine if acute application of transcranial direct current simulation (tDCS), administered via the Halo Sport device, influences performance during a cognitive or motor task in healthy older adults. In addition, the purpose was to determine if tDCS altered prefrontal cortex (PFC) activation during any of the two (cognitive or motor) task domains.
Methods: Twelve healthy older adults (50.4 ± 5.3 years old) volunteered to participate in two separate trials of a cognitive (attention, processing speed and executive function) and a motor task (9-hole peg task) (9-hole peg task) following 20 minutes of tDCS via the Halo Sport or a Sham condition.
Results: There was a significant increase in performance of the non-dominant motor task when individuals received stimulation via the Halo Sport in comparison to the Sham condition. There were no significant differences in performance of the cognitive or dominant motor task following Halo Sport. There were also no changes in measurements in PFC activation during any of the cognitive or motor tasks.
Conclusions: These results indicate that the application of acute tDCS via Halo Sport does not induce changes in PFC activation or cognitive performance but may improve performance of non-dominant hand motor tasks in healthy older adults. Future research could utilize the Halo Sport in rehabilitation scenarios to determine its impact on cross limb transfer.