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Age-related changes in the bimanual advantage and in brain oscillatory activity during tapping movements suggest a decline in processing sensory reafference.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24232976     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Deficits in the processing of sensory reafferences have been suggested as accounting for age-related decline in motor coordination. Whether sensory reafferences are accurately processed can be assessed based on the bimanual advantage in tapping: because of tapping with an additional hand increases kinesthetic reafferences, bimanual tapping is characterized by a reduced inter-tap interval variability than unimanual tapping. A suppression of the bimanual advantage would thus indicate a deficit in sensory reafference. We tested whether elderly indeed show a reduced bimanual advantage by measuring unimanual (UM) and bimanual (BM) self-paced tapping performance in groups of young (n = 29) and old (n = 27) healthy adults. Electroencephalogram was recorded to assess the underlying patterns of oscillatory activity, a neurophysiological mechanism advanced to support the integration of sensory reafferences. Behaviorally, there was a significant interaction between the factors tapping condition and age group at the level of the inter-tap interval variability, driven by a lower variability in BM than UM tapping in the young, but not in the elderly group. This result indicates that in self-paced tapping, the bimanual advantage is absent in elderly. Electrophysiological results revealed an interaction between tapping condition and age group on low beta band (14-20 Hz) activity. Beta activity varied depending on the tapping condition in the elderly but not in the young group. Source estimations localized this effect within left superior parietal and left occipital areas. We interpret our results in terms of engagement of different mechanisms in the elderly depending on the tapping mode: a 'kinesthetic' mechanism for UM and a 'visual imagery' mechanism for BM tapping movement.
Etienne Sallard; Lucas Spierer; Catherine Ludwig; Marie-Pierre Deiber; Jérôme Barral
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-11-15
Journal Detail:
Title:  Experimental brain research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Experimentation cerebrale     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-1106     ISO Abbreviation:  Exp Brain Res     Publication Date:  2013 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-11-15     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0043312     Medline TA:  Exp Brain Res     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Institute of Sport Sciences (GRISSUL), University of Lausanne, Quartier UNIL-Mouline, Bâtiment Géopolis, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland,
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