Mechanisms that contribute to differences in motor performance between young and old adults

Enoka, R., Christou, E., Hunter, S., Kornatz, K., Semmler, John, Taylor, A. and Tracy, B. 2003, Mechanisms that contribute to differences in motor performance between young and old adults, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1-12.

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Title Mechanisms that contribute to differences in motor performance between young and old adults
Author(s) Enoka, R.
Christou, E.
Hunter, S.
Kornatz, K.
Semmler, John
Taylor, A.
Tracy, B.
Journal name Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Volume number 13
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 12
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2003-02
ISSN 1050-6411
1873-5711
Keyword(s) Force fluctuations
motor unit;
discharge rate
Summary This paper examines the physiological mechanisms responsible for differences in the amplitude of force fluctuations between young and old adults. Because muscle force is a consequence of motor unit activity, the potential mechanisms include both motor unit properties and the behavior of motor unit populations. The force fluctuations, however, depend not only on the age of the individual but also on the muscle group performing the task, the type and intensity of the muscle contraction, and the physical activity status of the individual. Computer simulations and experimental findings performed on tasks that involved single agonist and antagonist muscles suggest that differences in force fluctuations are not attributable to motor unit twitch force, motor unit number, or nonuniform activation of the agonist muscle, but that they are influenced by the variability and common modulation of motor unit discharge in both the agonist and antagonist muscles. Because the amplitude of the force fluctuations does not vary linearly with muscle activation, these results suggest that multiple mechanisms contribute to the differences in force fluctuations between young and old adults, although the boundary conditions for each mechanism remain to be determined.
Language eng
Field of Research 110603 Motor Control
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2002, Elsevier Science Ltd.
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30008632

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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