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Visuomotor memory in elderly: effect of a physical exercise program

Memória visuomotora em idosos: efeito de um programa de exercício

João Silva Joana Carvalho Paula Rodrigues Manuel Botelho Basílio Fechine Olga Vasconcelos About the authors

Memory, namely visuomotor memory, is one of the most essential cognitive functions in elder’s life. Among others, regular exercise seems to be an important factor in counteracting age-related-cognitive skills changes and thus prevent memory loss. However, in spite of the importance of visuomotor memory, the results of the scarce studies concerning the influence of exercise on this capacity are contradictory. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of physical exercise (PE) in visuomotor memory (VMM) of elderly adults in function of gender and age. VMM (time spent in performing the test and errors during the execution) of 74 subjects aged 60-90 years, being 36 practitioners of PE (P - mean age of 70.22 ± 0.90 years) and 38 non-practitioners (NP - mean age of 68.26 ± 1.12 years) were assessed by VMM Test. The results showed that: a) P presented a better performance in the time of performing the test and in the number of errors committed compared to NP; b) Gender and age did not influence the VMM performance. Data suggest that PE seems to have positive effect in the VMM, independently of gender and age.

Aging; Visuomotor memory; Physical exercise

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