In this video, we see a patient recovering from stroke. She is attempting to reduce the amount of right pelvic retraction and exaggerated length of her right stance phase. She is receiving an external cue that is reinforcing the symmetrical stride length and stance phases for each lower extremity. Simultaneously, she is being intentionally-loaded with at least dual if not multitask responsibilities to reinforce the shared capacity of attention during walking. By limiting the concentrated and single-focused application of attention on her walking-we are reinforcing her underlying motor pattern while still giving her an external reference for her gait speed and symmetry.
In this video, we see a patient attempting to walk as quickly as she can, while engaging in a challenging auditory distraction. Her single-task high-speed gait for this distance is 6.60 seconds. She accomplishes this effort in nearly 11 seconds, revealing the shared resources and lack of automaticity in her gait, during recovery from stroke. In contrast, she was able to prioritize gait speed and achieve a 5.59 second performance while dialing numbers on her cell phone that were shouted out from the physiotherapy crowd here in Iceland. Was the auditory component of that task not challenging enough to interfere? Were the two auditory tasks processed differently, with one having more perceptual responsibilities (reversing the letters in a 5 letter word), or was the manual vs. verbal output the difference?