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.

Related Articles


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 December 17, 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 December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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