Brenda Malcolm is a postdoctoral research fellow at the CNL, investigating the neural mechanisms of cognitive-motor interference. She completed her Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2017 at the CUNY Graduate Center. The primary focus of her work is on the link between cognition and mobility in aging. Older adults are typically more susceptible to cognitive-motor interference, in which simultaneously performing an attentionally demanding task and a motor activity, such as walking, results in a deterioration in performance in one or both domains. In the laboratory, this issue is studied using dual-task walking paradigms and a Mobile Brain/Body Imaging (MoBI) approach, a technique that combines EEG and 3D body motion tracking. Ultimately, a better understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying mobility decline may lead to improved strategies to reduce fall risk in older adults.
Brenda is also involved in studies examining cognitive-motor interference in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Individuals with MS commonly report difficulties with motor functions, including walking, coordination and balance, and in addition may experience cognitive impairments. These deficits may overlap and cause additional problems when people attempt to perform these two tasks at the same time. Therefore, establishing biomarkers associated with dual-task walking abilities in MS may serve as better indicators of disease severity or of rehabilitative progress, compared to each task in isolation. The long-term goal of this research is to contribute to the development of improved techniques to assess cognitive and motor impairments in aging and neurological disease.
Malcolm BR, Foxe JJ, Butler JS, Molholm S, De Sanctis P. (2018). Cognitive load reduces the effects of optic flow on gait and electrocortical dynamics during treadmill walking. J Neurophysiol, 120: 2246 –2259, 2018. doi: 10.1152/jn.00079.2018.
Malcolm BR, Foxe JJ, Butler JS, Mowrey WB, Molholm S, De Sanctis P. (2017). Long term test-retest reliability of event-related potential (ERP) recordings during treadmill walking using the mobile brain/body imaging (MoBI) approach. Brain Res. 2017. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2017.05.021.
Malcolm BR, Foxe JJ, Butler JS, De Sanctis P. (2015). The aging brain shows less flexible reallocation of cognitive resources during dual-task walking: a mobile brain/body imaging (MoBI) study. Neuroimage, 117:230-242, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.05.028.
De Sanctis P, Butler JS, Malcolm BR, Foxe JJ. (2014). Recalibration of Inhibitory Control Systems during walking-related dual-task interference: A Mobile Brain-Body Imaging (MOBI) study. Neuroimage, 94:55-64, 2014. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.03.016.
Friedman D, de Chastelaine M, Nessler D, Malcolm B. (2009). Changes in familiarity and recollection across the lifespan: An ERP perspective. Brain Res, 1310:124-141, 2010. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.11.016.