Cerebellar gray matter explains bimanual coordination performance in children and older adults

Matthieu P Boisgontier, Boris Cheval, Peter van Ruitenbeek, Koen Cuypers, Inge Leunissen, Stefan Sunaert, Raf Meesen, Hamed Zivari Adab, Olivier Renaud, Stephan P Swinnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The cerebellum appears to undergo late maturation in children and early decline at older age. Whether these age-related changes affect bimanual coordination performance remains unclear at best. Here, we identified the ages at which bimanual coordination performance stops improving and starts declining. In an independent cohort, we defined brain regions of interest involved in bimanual coordination using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We used these regions of interest to investigate the extent to which the gray matter of cerebellar and other brain regions explains bimanual coordination performance from 10- to 80-year-olds. Results showed that bimanual coordination performance starts declining from the age of 40 years. In participants aged 10-20 years, cerebellar lobule VI was the only significant brain predictor of bimanual coordination performance. In participants aged 60-80 years, this cerebellar region, together with the primary sensorimotor cortex, formed a group of strongest predictors. These results from 2 independent samples (10-20 and 60-80 years) suggest that cerebellar lobule VI is critical for the development and preservation of bimanual coordination skills in children and older adults, respectively. In addition, post hoc analyses suggested that the primary motor cortex mediated the adverse effect of age on bimanual coordination performance in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • Adolescent development
  • Aging
  • Brain
  • Internal model
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Movement
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY QUESTIONNAIRE
  • AUGMENTED VISUAL FEEDBACK
  • AGE-RELATED DIFFERENCES
  • INTERNAL-MODELS
  • BASAL GANGLIA
  • WHITE-MATTER
  • COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE
  • SUBCORTICAL STRUCTURES
  • FUNCTIONAL TOPOGRAPHY
  • TASK-PERFORMANCE
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex/diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum/diagnostic imaging
  • Gray Matter/diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult
  • Aging/physiology
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Child
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Psychomotor Performance/physiology
  • Cohort Studies

Cite this

Boisgontier, M. P., Cheval, B., van Ruitenbeek, P., Cuypers, K., Leunissen, I., Sunaert, S., Meesen, R., Zivari Adab, H., Renaud, O., & Swinnen, S. P. (2018). Cerebellar gray matter explains bimanual coordination performance in children and older adults. Neurobiology of Aging, 65, 109-120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.01.016