5 years ago

Age-related changes in hand dominance and functional asymmetry in older adults

Zofia Ignasiak, Anna Skrzek, Anna Sebastjan, Teresa Sławińska

by Anna Sebastjan, Anna Skrzek, Zofia Ignasiak, Teresa Sławińska

The aim of the study was to investigate fine motor performance and ascertain age-related changes in laterality between the dominant and non-dominant hand. A representative sample of 635 adults (144 males and 491 females) aged 50 years and over completed a test battery MLS (Motor Performance Series) to assess a broad range of hand functions. Functional asymmetry was observed in all four motor tests (postural tremor, aiming, tapping, and inserting long pins). Significant differences between the dominant and non-dominant hand were obtained in both sexes across all age groups, except in the oldest female group (age >70) for the aiming (number of hits and errors) and postural tremor (number of errors) tasks. These differences in age-related changes may be attributed to hemispheric asymmetry, environmental factors, or use-dependent plasticity. Conflicting evidence in the literature warrants additional research to better explain age-related alterations of hand dominance and manual performance in old age.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177845

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