Research has indicated that older adults perform movement sequences more slowly than young adults. The purpose of the present experiment was to compare movement sequence learning in young and older adults when the time to perform the sequence was extended, and how the elderly’s cognitive status (Montreal Cognitive Assessment [MoCA]) interacted with sequence learning. The task was to minimize the difference between a target sequence pattern and the sequence produced by elbow extension-flexion movements. On Day 1, participants (28 young adults; 28 older adults) practiced the sequence under two time windows: 1300 ms or 2000 ms. On Day 2, retention performance and the cognitive status were assessed. The results demonstrated that young adults performed superior compared to older adults. Additional time to perform the sequence did not improve retention performance for the older adults. The correlation between the error score and the MoCA score of r = –.38 (p <.05) in older adults indicated that a better cognitive status was associated with performance advantages in sequence learning.
- cognitive status
- Sequence learning