Aim: The understanding of the neural correlates of motor learning and consolidation has seen significant progress in recent years. Such advances have afforded the development of better training plans and the potentiation of motor skill learning in sports, in neurological recovery or simply in everyday life. However, the variations in motor learning and consolidation across different ages are still not well understood. In order to investigate this, we assessed performance in two different tasks (Finger Tapping Sequence and Go/No-Go tasks) in four different Age groups (Children; Young Adults; Mature Adults, and Seniors). Materials and Methods: The two tasks were executed across three different time periods (T0, T1 and T2), during which performance was measured: Day 1. Baseline (T0) and Performance After Training – i.e. Learning (T1) and; Day 2. Consolidation Performance – 24 hours post-T1 without any additional training (T2). Results: We show that the group of Seniors did not enhance performance 24 hours post-training in the Finger Tapping Sequence task, while all the other Age groups did. There were no differences in performance in Children, but age and sex interacted to enhance performance. This complex mechanism was shown to be task-specific. Moreover, none of the Age groups enhanced performance in T2 in the Go/No-Go Task, but we found a female advantage after practice in Mature Adults and Seniors. Conclusions: The influence of both Age and Sex in task performance and consolidation is to be taken into consideration in order to ameliorate training and potentiate individual capacities while delaying age-related impairments.
- Motor learning
- Motor consolidation