Age differences in bimanual coordination

G. E. Stelmach, P. C. Amrhein, N. L. Goggin

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67 Scopus citations


A bimanual coordination experiment was conducted in which two groups of 10 male and female participants, elderly (67 to 75 years of age) and young (21 to 25 years of age), produced unimanual, bimanual symmetrical (equal extent amplitude), and bimanual asymmetrical (unequal extent amplitude) movements. In addition to an overall increase in performance latency, the elderly group exhibited a linear increase in response initiation (RT) with increases in task complexity similar to that of the young group. However, the elderly participants showed a proportional increase over the young participants in response execution latency (MT). Further, the elderly group had a slower RT for short movements than long movements, an effect not found in the young group. Compared with the young participants, the elderly participants showed greater asynchrony in response initiation of bimanual movements; increased inability to subsequently compensate during response execution also resulted in a greater asynchrony in response termination. These results suggest specific aging deficits in bimanual coordination processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P18-P23
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988


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