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  Switching between hands in a serial reaction time task: A comparison between young and old adults

Hoff, M., Trapp, S., Kaminski, E., Sehm, B., Steele, C., Villringer, A., et al. (2015). Switching between hands in a serial reaction time task: A comparison between young and old adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 7: 176. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2015.00176.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0028-55D2-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-7752-B
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Hoff, Maike1, Author              
Trapp, Sabrina1, Author              
Kaminski, Elisabeth1, Author              
Sehm, Bernhard1, Author              
Steele, Christopher1, Author              
Villringer, Arno1, 2, Author              
Ragert, Patrick1, 3, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634549              
2Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Institute of General Kinesiology and Athletics Training, University of Leipzig, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Motor skill learning; Aging; Hand switch costs; Bimanual serial reaction time task
 Abstract: Healthy aging is associated with a variety of functional and structural brain alterations. These age-related brain alterations have been assumed to negatively impact cognitive and motor performance. Especially important for the execution of everyday activities in older adults (OA) is the ability to perform movements that depend on both hands working together. However, bimanual coordination is typically deteriorated with increasing age. Hence, a deeper understanding of such age-related brain-behavior alterations might offer the opportunity to design future interventional studies in order to delay or even prevent the decline in cognitive and/or motor performance over the lifespan. Here, we examined to what extent the capability to acquire and maintain a novel bimanual motor skill is still preserved in healthy OA as compared to their younger peers (YA). For this purpose, we investigated performance of OA (n = 26) and YA (n = 26) in a bimanual serial reaction time task (B-SRTT), on two experimental sessions, separated by 1 week. We found that even though OA were generally slower in global response times, they showed preserved learning capabilities in the B-SRTT. However, sequence specific learning was more pronounced in YA as compared to OA. Furthermore, we found that switching between hands during B-SRTT learning trials resulted in increased response times (hand switch costs), a phenomenon that was more pronounced in OA. These hand switch costs were reduced in both groups over the time course of learning. More interestingly, there were no group differences in hand switch costs on the second training session. These results provide novel evidence that bimanual motor skill learning is capable of reducing age-related deficits in hand switch costs, a finding that might have important implications to prevent the age-related decline in sensorimotor function.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2015-06-052015-08-312015-09-15
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2015.00176
PMID: 26441638
PMC: PMC4569733
Other: eCollection 2015
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Title: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Aging Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 7 Sequence Number: 176 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1663-4365
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1663-4365