The objective of the study is to examine the effects of age and gender on finger coordination. Twelve young (24 ± 8 yr; 6 men and 6 women) and 12 elderly (75 ± 5 yr; 6 men and 6 women) subjects performed single-finger maximal contraction [maximal voluntary contraction (MVC)], four-finger MVC, and four-finger ramp force production tasks by pressing on individual force transducers. A drop in the force of individual fingers during four-finger MVC tasks compared with single-finger MVC tasks (force deficit) was larger, whereas unintended force production by other fingers during single-finger MVC tasks (enslaving) was smaller, in elderly than in young subjects and in women than in men. Force deficit was smaller and enslaving was larger in subjects with higher peak force. During the ramp task, the difference between the variance of total force and the sum of variances of individual forces showed a logarithmic relation to the level of total force, across all subject groups. These findings suggest that indexes of finger coordination scale with force-generating capabilities across gender and age groups.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)