This study tests the hypothesis that aging-induced cognitive permeation of sensorimotor functions contributes to adult age differences in spatial navigation performance. Virtual maze-like museums were projected in front of a treadmill. Sixteen 20-30-year-old men and sixteen 60-70-year-old men performed a way-finding task in city-block or variable… (More)
Based on resource-oriented conceptions of successful lifespan development, we propose three principles for evaluating assistive technology: (a) net resource release; (b) person specificity, and (c) proximal versus distal frames of evaluation. We discuss how these general principles can aid the design and evaluation of assistive technology in adulthood and… (More)
We investigated effects of concurrent cognitive task difficulty (n-back) on the regularity of whole-body movements during treadmill walking in women and men from 3 age groups (20-30, 60-70, and 70-80 years old). Using principal component analysis of individual gait patterns, we separated main (regular) from residual (irregular) components of whole-body… (More)
We examined sex differences in spatial navigation performance using an ecologically relevant experimental paradigm in which virtual maze-like museums are projected in front of a treadmill. Thirty-two 20-30-year-old adults (16 women/16 men) performed a way-finding task in city-block (straight corridors) or variable (irregular corridors) topographies while… (More)
The design of personal mobile navigation devices needs to take into account the context of use, including different types of input in order to react to changing cognitive as well as to haptic constraints. In this work we propose a laboratory evaluation framework for pedestrian navigation devices that aims to maximize the significance of results obtained in… (More)
With advancing adult age, sensorimotor functioning, spatial processing, and the motivation to explore new environments decline, leading to impaired spatial navigation skills. Using a controlled virtual-world laboratory equipped with a treadmill interface, we examined how assistive navigation technologies differing in cognitive demand affect walking… (More)
We assessed age-related differences in adults in familiarization to treadmill walking within virtual environments (VE), and examined whether treadmill walking after familiarization resembles overground walking. Seventeen younger and 17 older adults walked at preferred speed on an overground walkway and afterwards walked at the same speed for 20 min on a… (More)
Assistive Technology offers great promise for improving the quality of aging, if the design of the devices is adapted to the needs of the user. In this paper we describe a test environment and first studies to evaluate mobile navigation systems in respect of the usability for elderly people.
We conclude that 'lifespan technology', if co-constructed by behavioral scientists, engineers, and aging individuals, offers great promise for improving both the transition from middle adulthood to old age and the degree of autonomy in old age in present and future generations.
When a cognitive and a motor task like walking or keeping one’s balance are performed concurrently, performance usually deteriorates. Older adults have often been shown to prioritize their motor performance in such dual-task situations, possibly to protect themselves from falls. The current study investigates whether these prioritization behaviors can still… (More)