Skip navigation

Older adults exhibit a more pronounced modulation of beta oscillations when performing sustained and dynamic handgrips

Older adults exhibit a more pronounced modulation of beta oscillations when performing sustained and dynamic handgrips

Xifra-Porxas, Alba ORCID: 0000-0002-9023-2432, Niso, Guiomar, Larivière, Sara, Kassinopoulos, Michalis, Baillet, Sylvain, Mitsis, Georgios D. and Boudrias, Marie-Hélène (2019) Older adults exhibit a more pronounced modulation of beta oscillations when performing sustained and dynamic handgrips. NeuroImage, 201:116037. ISSN 1053-8119 (doi:

PDF (Author's Accepted Manuscript)
29486 XIFRA-PORXAS_Older_Adults_Exhibit_A_More_Pronounced_Modulation_Of_Beta_Oscillations_(AAM)_2019.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Muscle contractions are associated with a decrease in beta oscillatory activity, known as movement-related beta desynchronization (MRBD). Older adults exhibit a MRBD of greater amplitude compared to their younger counterparts, even though their beta power remains higher both at rest and during muscle contractions. Further, a modulation in MRBD has been observed during sustained and dynamic pinch contractions, whereby beta activity during periods of steady contraction following a dynamic contraction is elevated. However, how the modulation of MRBD is affected by aging has remained an open question. In the present work, we investigated the effect of aging on the modulation of beta oscillations and their putative link with motor performance. We collected magnetoencephalography (MEG) data from younger and older adults during a resting-state period and motor handgrip paradigms, which included sustained and dynamic contractions, to quantify spontaneous and motor-related beta oscillatory activity. Beta power at rest was found to be significantly increased in the motor cortex of older adults. During dynamic hand contractions, MRBD was more pronounced in older participants in frontal, premotor and motor brain regions. These brain areas also exhibited age-related decreases in cortical thickness; however, the magnitude of MRBD and cortical thickness were not found to be associated after controlling for age. During sustained hand contractions, MRBD exhibited a decrease in magnitude compared to dynamic contraction periods in both groups and did not show age-related differences. This suggests that the amplitude change in MRBD between dynamic and sustained contractions is larger in older compared to younger adults. We further probed for a relationship between beta oscillations and motor behaviour and found that greater MRBD in primary motor cortices was related to degraded motor performance beyond age, but our results suggested that age-related differences in beta oscillations were not predictive of motor performance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MEG, beta oscillations, motor control, handgrips, aging
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2020 14:27
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics