Age-related changes to motor synergies in multi-joint and multi-finger manipulative skills: a meta-analysis

SHAFIZADEH, Mohsen, SHARIFNEZHAD, Ali and WHEAT, Jonathan (2019). Age-related changes to motor synergies in multi-joint and multi-finger manipulative skills: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119 (10), 2349-2362.

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Purpose The aim of the current meta-analysis was to examine the extent to which there are differences in upper extremity motor synergies across different age groups in manipulative tasks. Methods The studies that used the uncontrolled manifold method to examine the effect of age on motor synergies in multijoint and multi-finger tasks were selected. Sixteen relevant studies from 1154 articles were selected for the meta-analysis—4 and 12 studies considered multi-joint kinematics and multi-finger kinetic tasks respectively. Results The results of the meta-analysis suggested reduced strength of synergies in multi-finger task in older adults, but this was not the case for synergies in multi-joint task. Part of this age-related difference in finger function is related to the increased variability in total force in grasping tasks. However, reductions in the strength of multi-finger synergies in hand functions following ageing appear to depend on the characteristics of the task. Conclusions These findings indicate that the cooperation among fingers to stabilise the total required force to apply for grasping and other fine motor skills is less efficient in older adults that might affect the quality of manipulative tasks.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement and Sports Sciences; Sport Sciences
Identification Number:
Page Range: 2349-2362
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 10:08
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 23:16

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