The effect of attending to motor overflow on its voluntary inhibition in young and older adults

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Addamo, Patricia K, Farrow, Maree, Bradshaw, John ORCID: 0000-0002-8714-5231, Moss, S and Karistianis, N (2010) The effect of attending to motor overflow on its voluntary inhibition in young and older adults. Brain and Cognition, 74 (3). pp. 358-364. ISSN 0278-2626


Motor overflow refers to involuntary movement or muscle activity coinciding with voluntary movement. We examined whether 16 young adults (18–30 years) and 16 older adults (50–80 years) could voluntarily inhibit overflow. Participants performed a finger pressing task, exerting 50% of their maximal force. Overflow was concurrently recorded in the non-task hand. In the first condition, participants were not made aware of their motor overflow. Then participants, though informed of it, were asked to ignore their overflow. Finally, participants were requested to inhibit overflow with, and then without visual feedback, or vice versa. Overflow was exacerbated when older adults were unaware of it, and was reduced once they were informed. For young adults there was no significant difference between these conditions. Both Age Groups could significantly reduce overflow when so requested, independent of visual feedback. Thus motor overflow can be modulated by higher order cognitive control with directed attention.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.bandc.2010.10.001
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1702 Cognitive Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID21947, aging, associated movements, attention, bilateral activation, motor cortex, motor overflow, motor skills, corticospinal tract
Citations in Scopus 21 - View on Scopus
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