Motor and mental training in older people: transfer, interference, and associated functional neural responses
2016 (English)In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 89, 371-377 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Learning new motor skills may become more difficult with advanced age. In the present study, we randomized 56 older individuals, including 30 women (mean age 70.6 years), to 6 weeks of motor training, mental (motor imagery) training, or a combination of motor and mental training of a finger tapping sequence. Performance improvements and post-training functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were used to investigate performance gains and associated underlying neural processes. Motor-only training and a combination of motor and mental training improved performance in the trained task more than mental-only training. The fMRI data showed that motor training was associated with a representation in the premotor cortex and mental training with a representation in the secondary visual cortex. Combining motor and mental training resulted in both premotor and visual cortex representations. During fMRI scanning, reduced performance was observed in the combined motor and mental training group, possibly indicating interference between the two training methods. We concluded that motor and motor imagery training in older individuals is associated with different functional brain responses. Furthermore, adding mental training to motor training did not result in additional performance gains compared to motor-only training and combining training methods may result in interference between representations, reducing performance.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 89, 371-377 p.
Older people, Lifelong plasticity, Motor imagery, Brain imaging, Motor training
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124242DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.07.019OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-124242DiVA: diva2:950306