Effect of Aging on Coordinated Eye and Hand Movements With Two-Segment Sequence

in Motor Control
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This study examined how aging compromises coordinative eye-hand movements with multiple segments. Older adults and young controls performed two-segment movements with the eyes only or with the eyes and hand together. The results showed minimal age-related changes on the initiation and execution of primary saccade during the first segment. However, the older adults showed a scaling problem of saccade velocity when hand movements were included. They were also slow in stabilizing gaze fixation to the first target. Regarding hand movements, the older adults pronouncedly increased the deceleration phase compared with the controls while fixating their gazes to the target. They also increased the intersegment interval for both eye and hand movements. Taken together, aging differentially affects various components of movements, which contributes to the slowness of overall performance.

Rand is with the Transformed Movements Group, IfADo-Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors, Dortmund, Germany. Stelmach is with the Motor Control Laboratory, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

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