ROLE OF AGE IN RELATION BETWEEN TWO KINDS OF ABILITIES AND PERFORMANCE IN ACQUISITION OF NEW MOTOR SKILL1

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Abstract

Better understanding of age-related differences in skilled performance was the focus of analyses of cognitive-performance scores-relationships in acquisition of a new motor skill. 31 younger adults and 33 older adults were tested on both a cognitive and a psychomotor test. Then, they were asked to learn a juggling task over 12 sessions of 20 min. Analysis indicated age-related differences in the rate of learning. Acquisition by the younger adult group was significantly faster than that by the older adult group. This difference was also reflected in the relationship of cognition and performance for the two age groups. Motor execution for the older adults seemed to require more psychomotor ability, especially at the end of the learning sessions, and was dependent on cognitive control. This trend is consistent with the perspective that cognitive predictors of performance are related to age.

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