Mobility requires efficient interaction of musculoskeletal and sensory systems (especially visual, somatosensory, and vestibular) to control everyday movements, and these systems are known to be compromised in aging and linked to cognitive status.
Participants complete a simple reaction time (RT) test employing three bilaterally presented conditions (visual, somatosensory, and visual-somatosensory) and one control (i.e., ‘catch’) condition where no stimulation is presented and no response is expected.
Our research interests include: healthy aging, sensory functioning [multisensory integration], motor functioning [gait; balance & motor control]; cognitive functioning [attention & executive functioning]; and age-related diseases [including but not limited to mild Parkinsonian symptoms; mild cognitive impairment Alzheimer’s disease & diabetes].
The ability to successfully integrate information across sensory systems is a vital aspect of functioning in the real world. To date, only a few studies have investigated the clinical value of multisensory integration. Our previous research has linked the magnitude of visual-somatosensory integration (measured behaviorally using simple reaction time tests) to important cognitive (attention) and motor (balance, gait, and falls) outcomes in healthy older adults.
While multisensory integration effects have been measured across a wide array of populations using various sensory combinations and different neuroscience approaches, a gold standard for quantifying multisensory integration has been seemingly lacking.
We recently developed a step-by-step protocol for administering and calculating multisensory integration effects in an effort to facilitate innovative and novel translational research across diverse clinical populations and age ranges. However, patients with severe medical conditions and/or mobility limitations often experience difficulty traveling to research facilities or joining time-demanding performance-oriented mobility assessment research protocols. This led to the creation of our mobile fall risk tool to help clinicians and researchers with performance-oriented mobility assessments.
Using the aforementioned protocol, our mobile fall risk tool CatchU™ affords access to multisensory assessments that can be utilized in both clinical and research settings.
The impetus for creating CatchU™, a mobile fall-risk tool designed for seniors, was to afford opportunities to develop and introduce multisensory-based interventions to alleviate disability and maintain independence in older adults.
The system and methods for testing multisensory integration effects are patent pending
[U.S. Provisional Application No: 62/908,180; U.S. Non-Provisional Application No: 17038974]