Age related factors in motor error detection and correction

Philip H. Marshall, Jeffrey W. Elias, Jackie Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Two preliminary investigations were conducted on the error detection and error correction capabilities on a simple motor task of young, middle-aged and elderly adults. The error detection task assessed the subjects’ ability to discriminate which of two test movements was the same as a previously presented criterion movement. The error correction task required subjects to correct an erroneous movement so that it was the same as a previously experienced criterion movement. Error detection performance increased for all age groups as the discriminability of the incorrect alternative on the test trial increased, but the middle-aged and elderly subjects demonstrated inferior overall performance relative to the younger subjects. Older subjects gave higher absolute error correction scores especially at the low error disciminability level, and the younger subjects did not show the negative correction bias (algebraic error) as suggested by the performance of the two older groups. The data were discussed in terms of Adams’ [1] closed-loop theory of motor memory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1985


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