Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Motor skills research nets good news for middle-aged

Date:
April 5, 2013
Source:
University of Texas at Arlington
Summary:
People in their 20s don't have much on their middle-aged counterparts when it comes to some fine motor movements, researchers have found. In a simple finger-tapping exercise, study participants' speed declined only slightly with age until a marked drop in ability with participants in their mid-60s.

People in their 20s don't have much on their middle-aged counterparts when it comes to some fine motor movements, researchers from UT Arlington have found.

In a simple finger-tapping exercise, study participants' speed declined only slightly with age until a marked drop in ability with participants in their mid-60s.

Priscila Caçola, an assistant professor of kinesiology at The University of Texas at Arlington, hopes the new work will help clinicians identify abnormal loss of function in their patients. Though motor ability in older adults has been studied widely, not a lot of research has focused on when deficits begin, she said.

The journal Brain and Cognition will include the study in its June 2013 issue.

"We have this so-called age decline, everybody knows that. I wanted to see if that was a gradual process," Caçola said. "It's good news really because I didn't see differences between the young and middle-aged people."

Caçola's co-authors on the paper are Jerroed Roberson, a senior kinesiology major at UT Arlington, and Carl Gabbard, a professor in the Texas A&M University Department of Health and Kinesiology.

The researchers based their work on the idea that before movements are made, the brain makes a mental plan. They used an evaluation process called chronometry that compares the time of test participants' imagined movements to actual movements. Study participants -- 99 people ranging in age from 18 to 93 -- were asked to imagine and perform a series of increasingly difficult, ordered finger movements. They were divided into three age groups -- 18-32, 40-63 and 65-93 -- and the results were analyzed.

"What we found is that there is a significant drop-off after the age of 64," Roberson said. "So if you see a drop-off in ability before that, then it could be a signal that there might be something wrong with that person and they might need further evaluation."

The researchers also noted that the speed of imagined movements and executed actions tended to be closely associated within each group. That also could be useful knowledge for clinicians, the study said.

"The important message here is that clinicians should be aware that healthy older adults are slower than younger adults, but are able to create relatively accurate internal models for action," the study said.

Caçola is a member of UT Arlington Center for Health Living and Longevity. She has published previous research on the links between movement representation and motor ability in children.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Arlington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Priscila Caçola, Jerroed Roberson, Carl Gabbard. Aging in movement representations for sequential finger movements: A comparison between young-, middle-aged, and older adults. Brain and Cognition, 2013; 82 (1): 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.bandc.2013.02.003

Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Arlington. "Motor skills research nets good news for middle-aged." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130405184626.htm>.
University of Texas at Arlington. (2013, April 5). Motor skills research nets good news for middle-aged. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130405184626.htm
University of Texas at Arlington. "Motor skills research nets good news for middle-aged." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130405184626.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) — Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) — At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins