Age-related differences in bimanual movements: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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With increasing age motor functions decline. The additional challenges of executing bimanual movements further hinder motor functions in older adults. The current systematic review and meta-analysis determined the effects of healthy aging on performance in bimanual movements as compared to younger adults.


Our comprehensive search identified 27 studies that reported bimanual movement performance measures. Each study included a between groups comparison of older (mean age = 68.79 years) and younger adults (mean age = 23.14 years). The 27 qualified studies generated 40 total outcome measure comparisons: (a) accuracy: 18, (b) variability: 14, and (c) movement time: eight.


Our meta-analysis conducted on a random effects model identified a relatively large negative standardized mean difference effect (ES = −0.93). This indicates that older adults exhibited more impaired bimanual movement performance in comparison to younger adults in our group of studies. Specifically, a moderator variable analysis revealed large negative effects in both accuracy (ES = −0.94) and variability (ES = −1.00), as well as a moderate negative effect (ES = −0.71) for movement time. These findings indicate that older adults displayed reduced accuracy, greater variability, and longer execution time when executing bimanual movements.


These meta-analytic findings revealed that aging impairs bimanual movement performance.

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