Transfer of ballistic motor skill between bilateral and unilateral contexts in young and older adults: neural adaptations and behavioral implications

Hinder, Mark R., Carroll, Timothy J. and Summers, Jeffery J. (2013) Transfer of ballistic motor skill between bilateral and unilateral contexts in young and older adults: neural adaptations and behavioral implications. Journal of Neurophysiology, 109 12: 2963-2971. doi:10.1152/jn.00535.2012


Author Hinder, Mark R.
Carroll, Timothy J.
Summers, Jeffery J.
Title Transfer of ballistic motor skill between bilateral and unilateral contexts in young and older adults: neural adaptations and behavioral implications
Journal name Journal of Neurophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-3077
1522-1598
Publication date 2013-06-15
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1152/jn.00535.2012
Volume 109
Issue 12
Start page 2963
End page 2971
Total pages 9
Place of publication Bethesda, MD, United States
Publisher American Physiological Society
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Bilateral movement rehabilitation is gaining popularity as an approach to improve the recovery not only of bimanual function but also of unilateral motor tasks. While the neural mechanisms mediating the transfer of bilateral training gains into unimanual contexts are not fully understood, converging evidence from behavioral, neurophysiological, and imaging studies suggests that bimanual movements are not simply the superposition of unimanual tasks undertaken with both (upper) limbs. Here we investigated the neural responses in both hemispheres to bilateral ballistic motor training and the extent to which performance improvements transferred to a unimanual task. Since aging influences interhemispheric interactions during movement production, both young (n = 9; mean age 19.4 yr; 6 women, 3 men) and older (n = 9; 66.3 yr; 7 women, 2 men) adults practiced a bilateral motor task requiring simultaneous “fast-as-possible” abductions of their left and right index fingers. Changes in bilateral and unilateral performance, and in corticospinal excitability and intracortical inhibition, were assessed. Strong transfer was observed between bimanual and unimanual contexts for both age groups. However, in contrast to previous reports of substantial bilateral cortical adaptations following unilateral training, increases in corticospinal excitability following bilateral training were not statistically reliable, and a release of intracortical inhibition was only observed for older adults. The results indicate that the neural mechanisms of motor learning for bilateral ballistic tasks differ from those that underlie unimanual ballistic performance improvement but that aging results in a greater overlap of the neural mechanisms mediating bilateral and unilateral ballistic motor performance.
Keyword Motor learning
Bilateral training
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Transfer
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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