Several studies suggest that children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) may be able to plan simple movements as well as their peers, but experience increasing difficulties as the movements become complex. The present study aimed to clarify the nature of motor planning in DCD, including a putative deficit, by being the first to investigate motor planning using converging measures of simple and complex motor planning in a single sample of children with DCD. Boys aged between 8 – 12 years with (n = 10) and without DCD (n = 17) completed three commonly used ‘simple’ (bar grasping, sword, and bar transport tasks) measures and one ‘complex’ (octagon task) measure of end-state-comfort (ESC), a classic
measurement of motor planning ability. To achieve ESC when manipulating an object, a person may choose to start with an uncomfortable grip in order to end the movement in a comfortable position. Results indicate that the participants with DCD planned for ESC as efficiently as their peers when performing the ‘simple’ measures of ESC but were significantly less likely to end their performances in ESC than those without DCD for the more ‘complex’ octagon task. Taken together, our data suggest that school-aged children with DCD may be able to plan simple movements as efficiently as their peers, but have more
difficulty doing so for multi-movement or complex sequences. Based on the assumption that the efficiency of such motor planning is dependent on the integrity of internal modelling systems, we argue that our study provides indirect support for the internal modelling deficit hypothesis.
Bhoyroo, RanilaHands, BethWilmut, KateHyde, ChristianWigley, Adam
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2018Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-07-09