Changes in oscillatory cortical activity related to a visuomotor task in young and elderly healthy subjects

Clin Neurophysiol. 2003 Jun;114(6):1153-66. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(03)00058-0.


Objective: In order to better understand the spatio-temporal interaction of the activated cortical areas when the movement is visuo-guided and to assess the age effect on the spatio-temporal pattern of cortical activity, we have compared a proximo-distal movement with visual-motor control and hand-eye coordination (targeting movement) with a distal and a proximal movement.

Methods: Brain's electrical activity was studied using the analysis of event-related (de)synchronizations (ERD/S) of cortical mu and beta rhythms in 17 subjects, 8 young and 9 elderly subjects.

Results: In both populations, we found an earlier and broader mu and beta ERD during the preparation of the targeting movement compared to distal and proximal movements, principally involving the contralateral parietal region. During the execution, a spreading over the parietocentral region during proximal movement and over the parietal region during targeting movement was observed. After the execution of proximal and targeting movements, a wider and higher beta ERS was observed only in the young subjects. In the elderly subjects, our results showed a significant decrease of beta ERS during the targeting task.

Conclusions: These results suggest there was a larger recruitment of cortical areas, involving notably the parietal cortex when the movement is visuo-guided. Moreover, cerebral aging-related changes in the spatio-temporal beta ERS pattern suggests an impaired sensory integration.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Arm / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fingers / physiology
  • Functional Laterality / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Shoulder
  • Time Factors