Absence of cross-limb transfer of performance gains following ballistic motor practice in older adults

Hinder, MR, Schmidt, MW, Garry, MI, Carroll, TJ and Summers, JJ (2011) Absence of cross-limb transfer of performance gains following ballistic motor practice in older adults. Journal of Applied Physiology, 110 1: 166-175. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00958.2010

Author Hinder, MR
Schmidt, MW
Garry, MI
Carroll, TJ
Summers, JJ
Title Absence of cross-limb transfer of performance gains following ballistic motor practice in older adults
Journal name Journal of Applied Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 8750-7587
Publication date 2011-01
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/japplphysiol.00958.2010
Volume 110
Issue 1
Start page 166
End page 175
Total pages 10
Place of publication Bethesda, MD, United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Abstract The phenomenon of crosslimb transfer, in which unilateral strength training can result in bilateral strength gains, has recently been tested for ballistic movements. Performance gains associated with repetitive motor practice, and the associated transfer, occur within a few minutes. In this study, young and older adults were trained to perform ballistic abductions of their dominant (right) index finger as quickly as possible. Performance was assessed bilaterally before, during, and after this training. Both groups exhibited large performance gains in the right hand as a result of training (P < 0.001; young 84% improvement, older 70% improvement), which were not significantly different between groups (P < 0.40). Transcranial magnetic stimulation revealed that the performance improvements were accompanied by increases in excitability, together with decreases in intracortical inhibition, of the projections to both the trained muscle and the homologous muscle in the contralateral limb (P < 0.05). The young group also exhibited performance improvements as a result of cross-limb transfer in the left (untrained) hand (P < 0.005), equivalent to 75% of the performance increase in the trained hand. In contrast, there were no significant performance gains in the left hand for the older group (P = 0.23). This was surprising given that the older group exhibited a significantly greater degree of mirror activity than the young group (P < 0.01) in the left first dorsal interosseus muscle (FDI) during right hand movements. Our findings suggest that older adults exhibit a reduced capacity for cross-limb transfer, which may have implications for motor rehabilitation programs after stroke. Copyright © 2011 the American Physiological Society.
Keyword Aging
Motor learning
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online November 18, 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Sun, 20 Feb 2011, 00:03:49 EST