Novel Behavioral and Neural Evidences for Age-Related changes in Force complexity

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This study investigated age-related changes in behavioral and neural complexity for a polyrhythmic movement, which appeared to be an exception to the loss of complexity hypothesis. Young (n = 15; age = 24.2 years) and older (15; 68.1 years) adults performed low-level force-tracking with isometric index abduction to couple a compound sinusoidal target. Multiscale entropy (MSE) of tracking force and inter-spike interval (ISI) of motor unit (MU) in the first dorsal interosseus muscle were assessed. The MSE area of tracking force at shorter time scales of older adults was greater (more complex) than that of young adults, whereas an opposite trend (less complex for the elders) was noted at longer time scales. The MSE area of force fluctuations (the stochastic component of the tracking force) were generally smaller (less complex) for older adults. Along with greater mean and coefficient of ISI, the MSE area of the cumulative discharge rate of elders tended to be lower (less complex) than that of young adults. In conclusion, age-related complexity changes in polyrhythmic force-tracking depended on the time scale. The adaptive behavioral consequences could be multifactorial origins of the age-related impairment in rate coding, increased discharge noises, and lower discharge complexity of pooled MUs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1002
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 9

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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