An ERP study of age-related differences in the central cost of interlimb coordination


  • This research was supported under Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project number DP0770568).

Address reprint requests to: Jeffery Summers, School of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 30, Hobart, Tasmania 7001, Australia. E-mail:


The study investigated event-related EEG potentials during concurrent performance of interlimb coordination and visual oddball tasks by younger and older adults. Coordination task difficulty was equated between age groups by allowing participants to perform the task at self-determined frequencies. The amplitude of the P3b component of the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by visual task targets showed a different pattern across midline sites (Fz, Cz, Pz) for younger and older adults. While younger adults showed a parietal maximum, P3b amplitudes in older adults did not differ across midline site, with lower amplitudes at central and parietal sites than younger adults but higher amplitude at the frontal site. Younger adults also had significantly shorter P3b latency than older adults. The results suggest that older adults may rely more on cognitive control of their movements than younger adults.