Improved foot position sense as a result of repetitions in older adults

This research investigated whether acuity of perceived foot position changes as a result of repetitions in older and young adults. Subjects actively held four reference positions with one foot and matched these positions 12 times with the other foot. The data suggest that young adults performed the matching tasks with more overall accuracy and less variability than the older adults. Both young and older adults needed progressively less time to perceive an accurate match with repetitions. Repeated matching trials improved performance consistency in the older adults and resulted in less bias in both age groups. These results imply that adult aging affects the quality of the sensory signals conveying foot position at the ankle joint, but that repetitions make older adults more aware of proprioceptive feedback resulting in faster, more consistent, and more accurate performance.

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