Repeated exposure to the threat of perturbation induces emotive, cognitive, and postural adaptions in young and older adults
Congratulations to cluster members Drs. Mark Carpenter, Allan Adkin, Craig Tokuno, and trainees Kyle Johnson and Martin Zaback on their new publication entitled "Repeated exposure to the threat of peturbation induces emotional, cognitive, and postural adaptions in young and older adults"
Threat-related changes in postural control and their associations with changes in emotional and cognitive statesare influenced by postural threat experience, however, limited work has explored individuals' capacity to adaptthreat-related responses over longer periods of threat exposure. This study examined the effects of initial andrepeated postural threat exposure on emotional, cognitive, and postural responses. Twenty-seven young andtwenty-seven older adults stood on a force platefixed to a translating platform. Threat was manipulated throughexpectation of a temporally and directionally (left or right) unpredictable platform perturbation. Participantscompleted one 60s stance trial with no expectation of perturbation (No Threat) followed by 24 trials with threatof perturbation (Threat). The stance period before each perturbation varied (5–60s) except on an early Threattrial and the last Threat trial (60s), which were used for analysis. Postural threat elicited similar emotional,cognitive, and postural changes in young and older adults. With initial threat exposure, participants reportedincreases in self-reported anxiety and physiological arousal, as well as broad changes in attention focus.Participants also significantly increased centre of pressure (COP) amplitude and frequency, and COP powerwithin medium and high frequencies. With repeated threat exposure, anxiety, arousal, and some threat-inducedchanges in attention focus significantly adapted. These changes were accompanied by significant reductions inCOP frequency and COP power within medium frequencies. Some emotional and cognitive outcomes returned tono threat levels while postural outcomes did not. This study suggests that some threat-related changes instanding postural control may be closely linked with one's emotional response to threat, while others may becontext-dependent.Experimental Gerontology