Denis Pélisson has the pleasure to welcome Stephan Swinnen from the KU Leuven to give a conference on:
Neural control of bimanual movement and age-related effects
Aging is not only associated with changes in cognitive function but also affects control of fine and gross motor skill. Clinical as well as instrumented bimanual tasks demonstrate age-related deficits in behavioral performance. Here, I will elaborate on the neural changes in movement control as a function of aging. Firstly, I will discuss lifespan structural changes in brain grey and white matter. More specifically, associations between structural brain metrics and coordination behavior will be reported with a specific focus on the microstructural integrity of callosal connections. Secondly, I will address how fMRI studies demonstrate changes in functional activation during task-related conditions in older as compared to young adults. I will elaborate on the potential meaning of increased brain activation levels (hyperactivity) in older adults during production of motor tasks. Finally, I will discuss age-related alterations in functional connectivity within the motor network during task-related and resting state conditions, as revealed by means of fMRI and/or TMS studies. The current systems level approach appears promising in revealing lifespan alterations in brain and behavior, more specifically brain structure, function, and connectivity.