Dual task performance and the interaction of tasks has been the subject of much research. When tasks are performed together they affect each other to varying degrees depending upon such factors as the similarity of the tasks, their difficulty, and whether one task is given preference over another. In this study, task preference was investigated under divided attention conditions in order to determine what effect preference had on task performance. Twenty young adults took part in this study and were randomly assigned into two groups. Each group was experimentally motivated to favor one of the two tasks – either speaking a "tongue-twister" or tracking a moving target on a screen with a computer mouse. Each participant performed the tasks in both an isolated and combined conditions. The measurements of task performance (tracking scores, utterance duration, lower lip and jaw displacement, lower lip and jaw velocity, upper lip-lower lip correlation, spatiotemporal index, and sound pressure level) were then analyzed to determine how task preference affected the participant's performance. It was expected that the preferred task's performance would not suffer when performed in the dual task situation. Although some trends were noted in the predicted direction, no statistically significant results were found as a function of task preference. There were, however, some gender effects. Men were found to have significantly higher intensity than women during the speaking tasks in both the dual and isolated task conditions, and they were also found to perform better than women on the motor tracking task in both the dual and isolated task conditions.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





divided attention, concurrent task, speech, motor performance