Standing and Thinking (09-17-19)

As more and more people use standing desks, understanding how standing influences thinking becomes more important.  Smith, Davoli, Knapp, and Abrams report that “Postural changes and the maintenance of postural stability have been shown to affect many aspects of cognition. . . .  we examined the extent to which selective visual attention may differ between standing and seated postures in three tasks: the Stroop color-word task, a task-switching paradigm, and visual search. We found reduced Stroop interference, a reduction in switch costs, and slower search rates in the visual search task when participants stood compared to when they sat while performing the tasks. The results suggest that the postural demands associated with standing enhance cognitive control, revealing broad connections between body posture and cognitive mechanisms.” More information on cognitive control is available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_functions

K. Smith, C. Davoli, W. Knapp, and R. Abrams. “Standing Enhances Cognitive Control and Alters Visual Search.”  Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13414-019-01723-6