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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/11243

Title: Age-related differences in human corticospinal excitability during simple reaction time.
Authors: Levin, Oron
Netz, Yael
THIJS, Herbert
Nuttin, Bart
Helsen, Werner
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Elsevier Science
Citation: NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS, (1). p. 53-57
Abstract: Age-related declines in central processing may delay the facilitation of corticospinal (CS) tracts that underlie emergence of voluntary responses to external stimuli. To explore this effect, single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied to the left motor cortex at different latencies from the go-signal (auditory tone) during a simple reaction time (SRT) task with the right or left thumb [i.e. right (RHM) or left hand move (LHM)]. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) in the right abductor pollicis brevis (APB) were recorded from eleven healthy right-handed participants (aged 22–65; six young adults and five old adults). Both age groups showed significant facilitation of CS excitability approximately 100–120 ms from the onset of the go-signal in the RHM SRT that occurred before the onset of EMG voluntary burst, with no evidence for motor slowing in old adults. Old adults demonstrated a significant facilitation of MEPs in the time that preceded the go-signal for RHM SRT and a marked depression of CS excitability in preparation for the LHM SRT that was sustained up to 80 ms after the onset of the go-signal. Both effects were not seen in young adults. While the small number of participants may hinder the generality of the present observations, this pilot study suggests for the first time that old adults implemented selective tuning of CS excitability prior to the onset of the go command to speed up their response generation.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/11243
DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2010.09.072
ISI #: 000285495100012
ISSN: 0304-3940
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Validation: ecoom, 2012
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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