Greater intermanual transfer in the elderly suggests age-related bilateral motor cortex activation is compensatory

Sara Graziadio, Kianoush Nazarpour, Sabine Gretenkord, Andrew Jackson, Janet A. Eyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hemispheric lateralization of movement control diminishes with age; whether this is compensatory or maladaptive is debated. The authors hypothesized that if compensatory, bilateral activation would lead to greater intermanual transfer in older subjects learning tasks that activate the cortex unilaterally in young adults. They studied 10 young and 14 older subjects, learning a unimanual visuomotor task comprising a feedforward phase, where there is unilateral cortical activation in young adults, and a feedback phase, which activates the cortex bilaterally in both age groups. Increased intermanual transfer was demonstrated in older subjects during feedforward learning, with no difference between groups during feedback learning. This finding is consistent with bilateral cortical activation being compensatory to maintain performance despite declining computational efficiency in neural networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
JournalJournal of Motor Behavior
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • intermanual transfer
  • aging
  • HAROLD model
  • CRUNCH model

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