Appl Ergon. 2023 Nov;113:104097. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2023.104097. Epub 2023 Jul 26.


This study captured neurophysiological, muscular, and perceptual adaptations to shoulder exoskeleton use during overhead work with competing physical-cognitive demands. Twenty-four males and females, randomly divided into control and exoskeleton groups, performed an overhead reaching and pointing task over three days without (single task) and with (dual task) a working memory task. Task performance, electromyography (EMG), neural activity, heart rate, and subjective responses were collected. While task completion time reduced for both groups at the same rate over days, EMG activity of shoulder muscles was lower for the exoskeleton group for both tasks, specifically for females during the dual task. Dual task reduced the physiological benefits of exoskeletons and neuromotor strategies to adapt to the dual task demands differed between the groups. Neuromuscular benefits of exoskeleton use were immediately realized irrespective of cognitive demand, however the perceptual, physiological, and neural adaptations with exoskeleton use were task- and sex-specific.

PMID:37506618 | DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2023.104097