Motor control

Motor control in the elderly may be exacerbated by age-related decline in executive functions

Aging-US published “Cognition and action: a latent variable approach to study contributions of executive functions to motor control in old persons” which reports that aging is associated with profound impairments in motor control that may be exacerbated by functional decline. age-related executive.

However, comprehensive studies regarding the contributions of individual facets of executive functioning to movement control in older adults are still lacking. A battery of nine neuropsychological tasks was administered to n = 92 older adults to derive latent inhibiting, displacing, and updating factors by structural equation modeling. A bimanual task was used to assess complex motor control.

A sample of n = 26 young adults served as a control group to verify age-related differences in performance.

In older adults, structural equation models revealed that performance in the most difficult condition of the complex motor task was better predicted by the update factor and by general executive functioning performance.

These data suggest a central role for updating working memory in complex motor performance and contribute to our understanding of how individual differences in executive functioning relate to movement control in older adults.

Aging is associated with a decline in motor functioning that must be addressed to promote healthy, active living throughout life. »


Dr Caroline Seer, The KU Leuven Brain Institute

Despite this heterogeneity of executive functions and their hypothesized link to motor abilities, particularly during aging, few studies have addressed how individual differences in the multiple facets of executive functioning are associated with complex motor control in people. elderly.

Similarly, Corti and colleagues examined associations between executive functioning and fine motor control in older adults across several domains of executive functioning.

Overall, the available evidence regarding the link between distinct facets of executive and motor control in older adults is still sparse and fragmented, and in particular studies considering the multifaceted nature of executive functioning are lacking. Moreover, available studies address the contributions of executive functions to complex motor control at the level of individual tasks.

These latent variable approaches are therefore particularly suitable for the assessment of executive functions, but have not been applied to study the individual contributions of different domains of executive functioning to complex motor control in the elderly.

This complete data-; taking into account both the multifaceted nature of executive functioning and the problem of task impurity; are currently lacking. This study is the first to examine the contributions of multiple facets of executive functioning to complex motor performance in older adults using latent variable modeling, thereby creating a foundation for a more detailed understanding of the link between executive abilities and control. movements in aging.

The Seer research team concluded in their research finding on aging in the United States: “This study sheds light on the interrelationships between individual differences in multiple distinct facets of executive functioning and complex motor performance at older ages. Importantly, we examined executive functioning using a latent variable approach, mitigating the limitations associated with single-task assessments [17, 21]. In addition to a relationship between motor performance and common executive abilities, our data suggest a specific link between older adults’ ability to monitor and update working memory content and to perform complex motor actions with both hands simultaneously. These findings expand our understanding of motor decline in aging and suggest new avenues for designing cognitive training tools to preserve motor control across the lifespan.”

Source:

Journal reference:

Seeing, C., et al. (2021) Cognition and action: a latent variable approach to study the contributions of executive functions to motor control in older adults. Aging-United States. doi.org/10.18632/aging.203239.