There is a fundamental gap in understanding how brain structural and functional network connectivity are interrelated, how they change with age, and how such changes contribute to older adults' sensorimotor deficits. Recent neuroimaging approaches including resting state functional connectivity MRI (fcMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have been used to assess brain functional (fcMRI) and structural (DTI) network connectivity, allowing for more integrative assessments of distributed neural systems than in the past. Declines in corpus callosum size and microstructure with advancing age have been well documented, but their contributions to age deficits in unimanual and bimanual function are not well defined. Our recent work implicates age-related declines in callosal size and integrity as a key contributor to unimanual and bimanual control deficits. Moreover, our data provide evidence for a fundamental shift in the balance of excitatory and inhibitory interhemispheric processes that occurs with age, resulting in age differences in the relationship between functional and structural network connectivity. Training studies suggest that the balance of interhemispheric interactions can be shifted with experience, making this a viable target for future interventions.
- Motor control
ASJC Scopus subject areas