The effects of age and attention on motor overflow production-a review

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Addamo, Patricia K, Farrow, Maree, Hoy, K, Bradshaw, John ORCID: 0000-0002-8714-5231 and Georgiou-Karistianis, N (2007) The effects of age and attention on motor overflow production-a review. Brain Research Reviews, 54 (1). pp. 189-204. ISSN 0165-0173


Motor overflow refers to overt involuntary movement, or covert muscle activity, that sometimes co-occurs with voluntary movement. Various clinical populations exhibit overflow. Motor overflow is also present in healthy children and the elderly, although in young adults, overt overflow is considered abnormal unless elicited under conditions of extreme force or muscle fatigue. Current theories of overflow imply that the corpus callosum may mediate production of this phenomenon. However, given that the corpus callosum is a conduit enabling the transfer of cortical information, surprisingly few studies have considered the cortical or subcortical structures underlying overflow. This review considers the developmental trend of motor overflow production, specifically in the upperlimbs, and the mechanisms thought to underlie this age-related phenomenon. Potential neurological correlates of motor overflow will be discussed in conjunction with higher order attentional processes which also regulate motor overflow production. Future research investigating the impact of attentional processes on overflow production may be particularly valuable for designing rehabilitation strategies for patients experiencing induced pathological overflow or conversely, to develop techniques to encourage the recovery of movement function in individuals with paretic limbs.

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Online ISSN: 1872-6321

Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.brainresrev.2007.01.004
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL)
Keywords ResPubID22090. aging, attention, motor development, motor overflow, stroke
Citations in Scopus 89 - View on Scopus
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