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Many people think that if someone attempts to walk while also doing another activity while also walking time, they might end up accomplishing neither of those things very effectively. According to a recent study, most individuals are born with the potential to walk while multitasking, like using a smartphone.

Walking while multitasking enhances brain activity 

University of Rochester researchers discovered that for certain people, walking enhances and modifies the activity in the brain, improving their ability to juggle. They believe it may serve as a biomarker for “super agers,” people who age gracefully and have a good cognitive function.

The study enrolled 26 healthy adults aged 18 to 30 years. They discovered that, in contrast with the other 12 participants, 14 of the participants who performed an activity while walking showed an improvement in frontal brain activity. However, before testing them, there wasn’t any way to know who would fit in what category; at first, researchers assumed everybody would react identically.

Rochester’s School of Medicine and Dentistry biomedical engineering student Eleni Patelaki said, “It was surprising that for some of the subjects it was easier for them to do dual-tasking – do more than one task – compared to single-tasking – doing each task separately. This was interesting and unexpected because most studies in the field show that the more tasks that we have to do concurrently the lower our performance gets.”

Strong multitaskers show a “surprising difference.”

Patelaki said that the subject didn’t differ visibly from one another. As a result, researchers didn’t see the unexpected variation in the group’s neurological profile and what helps them manage difficult dual-tasking procedures differently until they started examining their brain activity and behavior. These results have the possibility of being refined and applied to groups where we already know that brain resource versatility is reduced.

The team notes that extending this study to older persons may help researchers find a definite marker for superchargers, who nonetheless possess the same level of cognitive function as people who are 30 to 40 years younger. A biomarker such as this may help researchers better understand and treat conditions like Alzheimer’s.