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Motor Planning of Vertical Arm Movements in Healthy Older Adults : Does Effort Minimization Persist With Aging ?

Abstract : Several sensorimotor modifications are known to occur with aging, possibly leading to adverse outcomes such as falls. Recently, some of those modifications have been proposed to emerge from motor planning deteriorations. Motor planning of vertical movements is thought to engage an internal model of gravity to anticipate its mechanical effects on the body-limbs and thus to genuinely produce movements that minimize muscle effort. This is supported, amongst other results, by direction-dependent kinematics where relative durations to peak accelerations and peak velocity are shorter for upward than for downward movements. The present study compares the motor planning of fast and slow vertical arm reaching movements between 18 young (24 ± 3 years old) and 17 older adults (70 ± 5 years old). We found that older participants still exhibit strong directional asymmetries (i.e., differences between upward and downward movements), indicating that optimization processes during motor planning persist with healthy aging. However, the size of these differences was increased in older participants, indicating that gravity-related motor planning changes with age. We discuss this increase as the possible result of an overestimation of gravity torque or increased weight of the effort cost in the optimization process. Overall, these results support the hypothesis that feedforward processes and, more precisely, optimal motor planning, remain active with healthy aging.
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Soumis le : mercredi 6 mai 2020 - 10:31:20
Dernière modification le : jeudi 7 mai 2020 - 11:05:03

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Gabriel Poirier, Charalambos Papaxanthis, France Mourey, Jeremie Gaveau. Motor Planning of Vertical Arm Movements in Healthy Older Adults : Does Effort Minimization Persist With Aging ?. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 2020, 12 (37), ⟨10.3389/fnagi.2020.00037⟩. ⟨hal-02565055⟩



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