Determining the Corticospinal Responses and Cross-Transfer of Ballistic Motor Performance in Young and Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

J Mot Behav. 2022;54(6):763-786. doi: 10.1080/00222895.2022.2061409. Epub 2022 Apr 18.


Ballistic motor training induces plasticity changes and imparts a cross-transfer effect. However, whether there are age-related differences in these changes remain unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to determine the corticospinal responses and cross-transfer of motor performance following ballistic motor training in young and older adults. Meta-analysis was performed using a random-effects model. A best evidence synthesis was performed for variables that had insufficient data for meta-analysis. There was strong evidence to suggest that young participants exhibited greater cross-transfer of ballistic motor performance than their older counterparts. This meta-analysis showed no significant age-related differences in motor-evoked potentials (MEPs), short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) and surface electromyography (sEMG) for both hands following ballistic motor training.

Keywords: aging; corticospinal excitability; motor performance; short-interval intracortical inhibition; transcranial magnetic stimulation.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electromyography
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor / physiology
  • Humans
  • Motor Cortex* / physiology
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Pyramidal Tracts / physiology
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation