Age-related Differences in Bilateral Primary Motor Cortex Activat | 60383

Journal of Neurology & Neurophysiology

ISSN - 2155-9562

Age-related Differences in Bilateral Primary Motor Cortex Activation after Visuomotor Learning

35th European Neurology Congress 2022

March 23-24, 2022 | Webinar

Prakriti Gupta

McGill University, Canada

Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol

Abstract :

Research shows widespread and increased cortical activity in older adults performing motor tasks. Nevertheless, little is known about age-related differences in cortical activity over the course of motor learning. The present study aims to understand this with the medium of the beta band oscillations of the primary motor cortex (M1). We examined the effect of short-term motor learning of a mirror-star tracing task on M1 beta oscillations. A total of 12 older and 12 young healthy adults volunteered for the study. Both groups practiced four blocks (20 trials per block) of the motor task. The EEG activity was recorded before and 24 hours after motor practice. Results revealed lower motor performance in older adults. Both groups improved in accuracy 24 hours after task training, but not in motor speed. EEG data showed that compared with young adults, older adults exhibited an increase in the bilateral pattern of M1 activity (greater movement-related beta desynchronization: MRBD) after motor learning. The additional ipsilateral M1 activation with aging could be a compensatory response to maintain motor performance and learning ability. Next, poorer task accuracy was found to be related to greater ipsilateral M1 MRBD amongst all subjects. However, the amount of motor learning did correlate with the changes in beta dynamics, due to individual differences in learning rate. Taken together, our findings verify that beta activity reflects meaningful age-related differences in motor learning behavior. Future work with a broader perspective targeting widespread brain activity is warranted.

Biography :

Prakriti has completed her M.Sc. in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience at McGill University in Canada. Her research examines the role of sleep spindles (EEG events) in the consolidation of motor memories using EEG and fMRI. Additionally, she volunteers for an award-winning, not-forprofit outreach program called BrainReach. She provides neuroscience workshops to elementary and high school students in underresourced communities around Montreal.