Aging, Complexity, and Motor Performance

Karl M. Newell, David E. Vaillancourt, Jacob J. Sosnoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter emphasizes that there is a substantial body of experimental work in motor control that has tested aspects of the aging and complexity relationship. Across a range of posture, locomotion, and manipulation tasks; it is shown that there is a strong link between the complexity of the motor output and the level of task performance. In many tasks, particularly postural, the enhanced sway or loss of performance is related to a significant loss of complexity in the output over the aging years. The complexity-performance relationship is not limited to postural tasks, as many movement tasks have a relatively high dimension movement solution and it is hypothesized that they would be influenced similarly by the processes of aging. However, there is not a unidirectional relationship between complexity and performance, and hence there is the necessity or universality of a loss of complexity in behavioral outcome with aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Psychology of Aging
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780121012649
StatePublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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