Published on December 19, 2018 | Updated on January 29, 2019

CORTEX conference by Stephan Swinnen

October 28th, 2016

Neural control of bimanual movement and age-related effects.

Aging is not only associated with changes in cognitive function but also affects control of fine and gross motor skill. Clinical as well as instrumented bimanual tasks demonstrate age-related deficits in behavioral performance. Here, I will elaborate on the neural changes in movement control as a function of aging. Firstly, I will discuss lifespan structural changes in brain grey and white matter. Secondly, I will address how fMRI studies demonstrate changes in functional activation during task-related conditions in older as compared to young adults. I will elaborate on the potential meaning of increased brain activation levels (hyperactivity) in older adults during production of motor tasks. Finally, I will discuss age-related alterations in functional connectivity within the motor network during task-related and resting state conditions, as revealed by means of fMRI and/or TMS studies. The current systems level approach appears promising in revealing lifespan alterations in brain and behavior.