Evidence for age-related changes in sensorimotor neuromagnetic responses during cued button pressing in a large open-access dataset

Neuroimage. 2019 Jun:193:25-34. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.02.065. Epub 2019 Mar 5.


Mu, beta, and gamma rhythms increase and decrease in amplitude during movement. This event-related synchronization (ERS) and desynchronization (ERD) can be readily recorded non-invasively using magneto- and electro-encephalography (M/EEG). In addition, event-related potentials and fields (i.e., evoked responses) can be elucidated during movement. There is some evidence that the frequency, amplitude and latency of the movement-related ERS/ERD changes with ageing, however the evidence surrounding this topic comes mainly from studies in sample sizes on the order of tens of participants. The objective of this study was to examine a large open-access MEG dataset for age-related changes in movement-related ERS/ERD and evoked responses. MEG data acquired at the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience during cued button pressing was used from 567 participants between the ages of 18 and 88 years. The characteristics movement-related ERD/ERS and evoked responses were calculated for each individual participant. Based on linear regression analysis, significant relationships were found between participant age and some response characteristics, although the predictive value of these relationships was low. Specifically, we conclude that peak beta rebound frequency and amplitude decreased with age, peak beta suppression amplitude increased with age, movement-related gamma burst amplitude decreased with age, and peak motor-evoked response amplitude increased with age. Given our current understanding of the underlying mechanisms of these responses, our findings suggest the existence of age-related changes in the neurophysiology of thalamocortical loops and local circuitry in the primary somatosensory and motor cortices.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Cues
  • Datasets as Topic
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Cortex / physiology*
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology*
  • Young Adult