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Aging and motor programming: differential effects according to the selection of action
Title of the conference
XI International Conference On Cognitive Neuroscience. ICON. Palma, Spain
There are controversial reports about the effect of aging on movement preparation, and it is unclear to which extent cognitive and/or motor related cerebral processes may be affected. This study examines the age effects on electro-cortical oscillatory patterns during various motor programming tasks, in order to assess potential differences according to the mode of action selection. Twenty elderly (EP, 60-84 years) and 20 young (YP, 20-29 years) participants with normal cognition underwent 3 pre-cued response tasks (S1-S2 paradigm). S1 carried either complete information on response side (Full; stimulus-driven motor preparation), no information (None; general motor alertness), or required free response side selection (Free; internally-driven motor preparation). Electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded using 64 surface electrodes. Alpha (8-12 Hz) desynchronization (ERD)/synchronization (ERS) and motor-related amplitude asymmetries (MRAA) were analyzed during the S1-S2 interval. Reaction times (RTs) to S2 were slower in EP than YP, and in None than in the other 2 tasks. There was an Age x Task interaction due to increased RTs in Free compared to Full in EP only. Central bilateral and midline activation (alpha ERD) was smaller in EP than YP in None. In Full just before S2, readiness to move was reflected by posterior midline inhibition (alpha ERS) in both groups. In Free, such inhibition was present only in YP. Moreover, MRAA showed motor activity lateralization in both groups in Full, but only in YP in Free. The results indicate reduced recruitment of motor regions for motor alertness in the elderly. They further show less efficient cerebral processes subtending free selection of movement in elders, suggesting reduced capacity for internally-driven action with age.
aging, motor preparation, EEG
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