The importance of sensorimotor integration in the control of normal human movement

People use sensory information from muscles, joints and skin to coordinate movement. Ability to use this information to make accurate movements declines with age. Loss of sensory information typically results in awkward, unrefined movements, which is why older people are noticeably slower and less accurate in their movements than younger individuals. Dr. Paul Kennedy’s research is directed at understanding the functional changes that occur with aging. He is studying age-related changes in the nervous system by recording electrical activity in the sensory receptors of two groups: people aged 20 to 30 and older people aged 70 to 80. His research could determine whether a decline in sensory activity reduces movement accuracy in older adults. Ultimately, the results could identify how specific changes in the nervous system related to aging contribute to functional impairments.