Force levels in uni- and bimanual isometric tasks affect variability measures differently throughout lifespan
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Number of pages
SourceMotor Control, 8, 4, (2004), pp. 437-449
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
SW OZ NICI CO
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Ninety-four participants (age 5-93 years) performed isometric force production tasks at five different levels of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) with either one or two index fingers. Research questions were whether variability measures in the bimanual task condition were different compared to the unimanual condition and whether this difference showed a developmental trend. Results showed that force regulation was more demanding during bimanual tasks (33% increase in error). During development signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) increased threefold from 5-12 years of age and again 60% from 12 years to adulthood. SNR for the elderly was comparable to values of 9 to 10-year-olds. SNR decreased in the bimanual task, particularly for the older persons. For adults and elderly, optimal SNR levels were observed around 36% of their MVC. In younger children, however, the inverted U-shape in the SNR over the full range of forces was not yet present.
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