Influence of aging on bimanual coordination control

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Degeneration in the neuromuscular system due to aging can affect daily activities that need to be controlled by bimanual coordination with both hands. However, little is known about the influence of aging on grip strength and bimanual coordination control between hands. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of aging on the maximum grip force output and capacity of coordination control of two hands. Ten healthy elderly and 21 young adults were recruited and asked to execute maximum grip force tests and bimanual coordination control tasks with reciprocal grasping, holding, and releasing of a dynamometer with both hands at three target force levels (10, 20 and 40% maximal voluntary contraction, MVC). Compared with the young group, the maximum grip force of the hands of the elderly group was significantly lower by 77.5% (p < 0.05) and 71.1% (p < 0.05) in the dominant and non-dominant hands, respectively. The elderly adults also displayed a significantly longer alternating time control in the dominant to non-dominant and non-dominant to dominant hands at the 20% MVC target force level (p < 0.05). Aging reduces the maximum hand grip force output and the performance of bimanual coordination control of two hands, which may lead to difficulty with the execution of daily activities requiring both hands.HighlightsLower grip force generation of both hands was more significant than in other parts of limbs by aging.Age-related changes in coordination control for hand grip force output of both hands can be assessed quantitatively.The alternating time for coordination control with the grip force for the elderly adults was longer than for the young group.The force applied for coordination control with the grip force by the elderly adults was lower than for the young group.

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