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METABOD: Motor Metacognition in Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s disease
Project: Healthy ageing is characterized by many cognitive and physiological changes. For example, falls in older adults are a significant clinical concern often resulting in serious negative outcomes(Rubenstein, 2006). The perception of being at risk of a fall is sufficient to drive avoidance behaviors that could actually increase the risk of a fall. Numerous studies have also showed that the occurrence of falls in Alzheimer’s patients is frequent and has consequences on cognitive decline and loss of independence (Kato-Narita & Radanovic, 2009). The strength of thisresearch program isto bring sportsciences and experimental psychology together. We make two strong predictions. First, we predictthat with age, individuals become less aware of their bodily changes, leading to falls. We base this hypothesis on the literature showing that various aspects of physical and mental health have been linked to an individual’s ability to perceive the physical condition of their body (‘interoception’) and that interoception accuracy changes with age (Murphy et al., 2018), and on the literature showing that age stereotypes may bias older adults’ self-perceptions (Emile et al., 2015) and motor performance (Chiviacowsky et al., 2018). Second, we predict that physical exercise by giving physiological feedback will improve bodily awareness (i.e. motor metacognition) and reduce age-related stereotypes. The novelty of this research program lies in referring to the concept of metacognition (knowledge of one’s own performance) to understand these population’s awareness of their physical changes and their responses to those. Motor metacognition is a recent developing field and this project will therefore be at the forefront of recent research development.