Marta Maria Gorecka

Gorecka disputerer for ph.d-graden i helsevitenskap og vil offentlig forsvare avhandlingen:

“A novel dual-task paradigm for evaluating the interplay between gait, cognition, and hearing loss in normal aging and MCI: Effects of Dichotic Listening during overground walking”

Avhandlingen er tilgjengelig her! / The doctoral thesis is available here!


Auditoriet er åpent for publikum, men disputasen vil i tillegg bli strømmet. Opptaket av disputasen vil være tilgjengelig i et døgn.
The auditorium is open to the public. The defense will also be streamed. A recording of the disputation will be available for 24 hours.

Prøveforelesning over oppgitt emne starter kl. 10.15 / The trial lecture starts at 10.15
Tittel/Title: "Current status of cognitive decline in normal and pathological ageing".
Prøveforelesningen strømmes her / The trial lecture will be streamed here

Disputasen starter kl. 12.15 / The defense starts at 12.15
Disputasen strømmes her / The defense will be streamed here

Populærvitenskapelig sammendrag av avhandlingen/ Summary of the thesis

Performing two tasks at the same time, like walking and doing a mentally challenging task simultaneously, is the gold standard to examine the relationship between gait and cognition in regard to risk of falls in older adults. Nevertheless, the mechanisms behind this approach are still unclear and the variability among methods complicate transferability to real-life situations. In this doctoral work, we introduce a new dual-task method by combining the simultaneous performance of the behavioral task Dichotic Listening, consisting of different attentional focus demands, while walking overground. In the literature, DL studies have shown that right-handed individuals have an innate preference to listen to verbal information coming from the right-side. At the same time, to one side while ignoring the other side is challenging, especially for older adults.

In this doctoral work, right-handed healthy older adults, younger adults, and elderly with mild cognitive impairment were examined. We found that instructed focus to one side affected the feet separately and caused more variable walking – both indicators of instability and associated with risk of falls. However, these findings became evident when hearing status was controlled for, and appeared in healthy older and younger individuals, but to a lesser extent in individuals with mild cognitive impairment. This contrasts with previous literature where asymmetries and variability in gait is associated with disease, problems with balance, and falls. We interpreted that listening to the right side served as stabilizing to remain posture, while listening to the left side challenged gait the most.  Furthermore, this work shows that hearing-loss may mask gait troubles.

This novel dual-task method has not been previously applied and serves as a promising approach for the examination of the interaction between walking, hearing, and cognitive function. Also, applying a mental task that manipulates attention differently in the same sensory function while walking overground provides a strong and valid experimental situation resembling everyday life settings.

Veiledere/ Supervisors
Hovedveileder/Main supervisor:
Professor Claudia Rodriguez-Aranda, Institutt for psykologi, Det helsevitenskapelige fakultet, UiT Norges arktiske universitet.
Professor Knut Kuvås Waterloo, Institutt for psykologi, Det helsevitenskapelige fakultet, UiT Norges arktiske universitet.


Professor emeritus Kenneth Hugdahl, Universitetet i Bergen – 1. opponent
Professor Eling de Bruin,Divison of Physiotherapy, Deparment of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institut / Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport, ETH Zurich, Switzerland – 2. opponent.
Førsteamanuensis Kjersti Lillevoll, Institutt for psykologi, Det helsevitenskapelige fakultet, UiT Norges arktiske universitet – leder av komité.

Disputasleder/ Leader of defense
Professor emeritus Martin Eisemann, Institutt for psykologi, Det helsevitenskapelige fakultet, UiT Norges arktiske universitet.


Når: 12.05.22 kl 10.15–16.00
Hvor: Auditorium Cortex, plan 7, MH Vest
Sted: Tromsø
Målgruppe: Ansatte, Studenter, Gjester / eksterne, Inviterte
Kontakt: Andrea Jennerwein
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