In previous studies, it has been shown that patients with cerebellar lesions have impaired timing of discrete movements such as finger tapping, but do not show impaired timing in smooth, continuous movements such as circle drawing (Spencer et al., 2003). It is believed that an internal clock mechanism located in the cerebellum controls discrete movements, where smooth continuous movements are not controlled by a clock (Huys et al , 2010; Spencer et al., 2003). Research has not examined timing of gross repetitive movements that may be compromised in those with cerebellar impairment. To test the idea of an internal clock in gross movement, this experiment looked at the relationship between timing of fine motor movements (tapping and circle drawing) and gross motor movements (walking and cycling). Results indicate that as an individual ages, both tapping and walking (movements believed to be controlled with an internal clock) become more variable, similar to the impairment seen with cerebellar lesion (Spencer et al., 2003). It was also found that timing without a clock (seen with smoothly produced tasks) may be preserved with increasing age. This research was funded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/breanna-studenka/3/