A critical evaluation of the cognitive penetrability of posture
Abstract: Background/Study Context: Interactions between postural control and cognitive activity as evidenced by dual-tasking studies are common, and especially pronounced in the elderly. Some authors have used this finding to suggest that posture is "cognitively penetrable." Methods: The authors present a critical look at the "cognitive penetrability of posture" concept. The authors first trace the notion back to Pylyshyn (1980, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 3, 111-169) in the context of visual information processing. Results: The authors then argue that dual-tasking interference effects do not prove that posture is penetrable by cognition. Conclusion: The authors conclude that it may be valid to study cognitive penetrability of posture, but that such an endeavor is served best by adopting a hierarchical model of action control.