Structural connectivity in pre- and primary motor cortex

DWI-based tracks in younger participants

Age-related changes in pre- and primary motor cortex

DWI-based tracks in older participants
Age effects in bimanual coordination

Age effects in bimanual coordination

The world-famous pianist Vladimir Horowitz completed his final recording four days before his death. The recording consisted of a repertoire Horowitz had never previously recorded. He died in 1989 at the age of 86. In terms of well-tempered bimanual coordination, Horowitz was certainly more an exception than the rule. In fact, for most of us playing the piano forms a major hurdle, irrespective of age, as moving our hands and fingers accurately and independently is not easy. Most probably this difficulty stems from a cross-talk of activity from one side of the body to the other. It is the mere symmetry of the central nervous system that renders the inter-hemispheric cross-talk prominent, probably more so when movement-related neural activity becomes synchronized.

Project Parameters

Launch Date: 2013
Duration: 5 Years
Funding: EU Erasmus Mundus / Charité

Our approaches

  • We study the relationship between altered inter- and intra-hemispheric structural and functional connectivity in the bilateral motor network. Our focus is on the correlation between connectivity and declined motor performance in older adults.
  • Behavioral paradigms contain (the learning of) bimanual coordination.
  • Functional connectivity is assessed through EEG and fMRI.
  • Structural connectivity is determined via DWI-based tractography.

Related PhD Projects

Effects of ageing on inter-hemispheric cross-talk – studying EEG, FMRI, and DTI in the context of motor learning

& Andreas Daffertshofer
Age-related changes in the symmetry of cortical activity patterns during motor performance, with a specific focus on motor learning. For this, I performed simultaneous EEG/fMRI and DTI recordings in young and older adults at the Charité Medical Center in Berlin..

Does aging affect the interhemispheric crosstalk in the cortex?

Parinaz Babaeeghazvini & Andreas Daffertshofer
As part of the EU Erasmus Mundus program MOVE-AGE this projects investigates age-related effects of interhemispheric interactions and their consequences for bimanual motor performance.

Related Research Themes & Projects

Relative Phase Dynamics

Relative Phase Dynamics

The stability of coordination can often be addressed via the relative phase between the individual limb movements. We are studying in detail the effect of different interactions between limbs, effects of noise and non-autonomous forcing.

Bimanual Coordination

Bimanual Coordination

We study how different control processes contribute to stabilizing the coordination between limbs, and how they change as a function of, e.g., movement frequency and amplitude, learning, development and pathology.



Understanding Ageing and Mobility. Funded by the EU as part of the Erasmus Mundus program, this international training network involves 40-odd PhD students studying age-related changes in human movement.

Research Partners

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