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  • Author: Lena Hübner x
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Lena Hübner, Solveig Vieluf, Ben Godde and Claudia Voelcker-Rehage

It remains controversial whether aging influences motor learning and whether physiological factors, such as local strength or fitness, are associated with fine motor performance and learning in older adults (OA). OA (n = 51) and young adults (YA, n = 31) performed a short-term motor learning session using a precision grip force modulation task. The rate of improvement of OA compared with YA was steeper with respect to performance variability and temporal precision. Both age groups showed positive transfer during an unpracticed variant of the force modulation task. Local muscle strength (pinch and grip strength) and high cardiovascular fitness positively predicted fine motor performance, whereas initial performance, muscle strength, and motor fitness (heterogeneous motor test battery) negatively predicted rate of improvement. Analyses indicated potentials, but also limits of plasticity for OA.