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Mark Holten Mora-Jensen, Pascal Madeleine and Ernst Albin Hansen

The present study analyzed (a) whether a recently reported phenomenon of repeated bout rate enhancement in finger tapping (i.e., a cumulating increase in freely chosen finger tapping frequency following submaximal muscle activation in the form of externally unloaded voluntary tapping) could be replicated and (b) the hypotheses that the faster tapping was accompanied by changed vertical displacement of the fingertip and changed peak force during tapping. Right-handed, healthy, and recreationally active individuals (n = 24) performed two 3-min index finger tapping bouts at freely chosen tapping frequency, separated by 10-min rest. The recently reported phenomenon of repeated bout rate enhancement was replicated. The faster tapping (8.8 ± 18.7 taps/min, corresponding to 6.0 ± 11.0%, p = .033) was accompanied by reduced vertical displacement (1.6 ± 2.9 mm, corresponding to 6.3 ± 14.9%, p = .012) of the fingertip. Concurrently, peak force was unchanged. The present study points at separate control mechanisms governing kinematics and kinetics during finger tapping.

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Takashi Kinugasa, Hiroshi Nagasaki, Taketo Furuna and Hajime Itoh

The goal of this study was to identify methods for characterizing high-functioning older adults living in the community. The subjects were 495 older adults from the Longitudinal Interdisciplinary Study on Aging conducted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology. Physical performance measures included grip strength, walking at preferred and maximum speeds, one-leg standing with eyes open, and finger tapping rate. Performance scores were created by summing each categorical score. Consistent differences were found among age groups and genders. Scores were lower in subjects who had stroke or diabetes than in those without these conditions. These results suggest that physical performance measures have both discriminant validity and construct validity, which make them useful methods for characterizing high-functioning older persons.