Attributions of age-related deficits in motor function to structural changes are compromised once the elderly exhibit lower error rates. This is because performance decrements observed in older adults are attributed to inferred strategic preferences for accuracy over speed. To understand genuine age differences in performance, we argue in the following theoretical paper, that research needs to resolve methodological shortcomings and account for them within theoretical models of aging. Accounts of aging need to directly manipulate or control strategic differences in performance while assessing structural deficits. When this is done, age-related changes in motor control resemble the intermittencies of control seen in basal ganglia disorders. Given homologous circuitry in the basal ganglia, such observations could generalize to age-related changes in cognitive and emotional processes.