Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2017 Jun;39(5):473-484.
doi: 10.1080/13803395.2016.1236905. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Within-session and One-Week Practice Effects on a Motor Task in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Within-session and One-Week Practice Effects on a Motor Task in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment

Sydney Y Schaefer et al. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Practice effects on neuropsychological tests, which are improvements in test scores due to repeated exposure to testing materials, are robust in healthy elders, but muted in older adults with cognitive disorders. Conversely, few studies have investigated practice effects on motor tasks involving procedural memory, particularly across test-retest periods exceeding 24 hours. The current study examined one-week practice effects on a novel upper extremity motor task in 54 older adults with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. Results indicate that these individuals with primary memory deficits did improve on this motor task within a brief training session as well as across one week. These practice effects were unrelated to demographic characteristics or global cognition. One-week practice effects were, however, negatively related to delayed memory function, with larger practice effects being associated with poorer delayed memory and potentially better visuospatial ability. The presence of longer term practice effects on a procedural motor task not only has implications for how longitudinal assessments with similar measures involving implicit memory might be interpreted, but may also inform future rehabilitative strategies for patients with more severe declarative memory deficits.

Keywords: Aging; Mild cognitive impairment; Motor learning; Practice effects; Procedural memory..

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have no financial interests or other conflicts of interest to disclose.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
A) Overhead view of motor task apparatus. The start and center locations were placed at participants’ midlines while they were seated. Dimensions of all movement distances and target sizes are described in the Methods. B) Typical handpath over the course of one trial (i.e. five repetitions out and back to each of the three targets, equaling 15 repetitions per trial). Participants moved out and back first to the ipsilateral target, then to the center target, then to the contralateral target, and then back to the ipsilateral target again, and so on until the trial was over. Kinematic data were collected in a previous study using an electromagnetic six degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) movement recording system (Flock of Birds®, Ascension Technology Corp, Shelburne, VT) that was integrated into Motion Monitor software (Innovative Sports Training, Chicago, IL). Kinematic data were collected for purposes of paradigm validation in Schaefer & Hengge (2016), and are therefore only provided in this study for illustration.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Mean ± SE trial times for baseline and one-week follow-up trials (shown in black for emphasis) and the nine remaining within-session practice trials during the initial session (shown in gray). Faster trial times indicate better performance.
Figure 3
Figure 3
One-week practice effects are plotted for all participants as a function of RBANS Delayed Memory Index score. Linear predictor model equation is also shown for reference. Practice effects are expressed as a percentage of baseline performance (Eq. 2). Positive values along both the x- and y-axes indicate better scores.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 3 articles

Feedback