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HUMAN KINETICS

A Dynamical Approach to the Effects of Aging on Bimanual Coordination

The present study examined the effects of aging on the execution of a bimanual coordination task in a classical phase transition paradigm in which coordination patterns (in-phase and antiphase) and movement frequency were manipulated.

Jean Jacques Temprado, Institut des Sciences du Mouvement, University of the Mediterranean - Marseille; Sarah Vercruysse, Robin Salesse, Eric Berton, Institut des Sciences du Mouvement, University of the Mediterranean, Marseille, France



The present study examined the effects of aging on the execution of a bimanual coordination task in a classical phase transition paradigm in which coordination patterns (in-phase and antiphase) and movement frequency were manipulated. Two groups of adults, so-called young (average age: 26 years) and old (average age: 71 years) participants, performed both in-phase and antiphase patterns at different frequencies. As we expected variability of relative phase was larger for older participants than for younger ones for both the in-phase and the antiphase coordination patterns. Moreover, phase transitions occurred at lower frequencies for older participants and more transitions were observed for older than for younger participants. Although no specific hypotheses were made about the prominent source(s) of age-related changes of coordination dynamics (i.e., an alteration in the coupling function and/or an increase of the magnitude of noise), our results suggest that these changes might result from increases in the (neural) noise found in the (bimanual) action system.




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