Journal Article

Motor planning with and without motor imagery in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder


Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) demonstrate inefficient motor planning ability with a tendency to opt for non-optimal planning strategies. Motor imagery can provide an insight to this planning inefficiency, as it may be a strategy for improving motor planning and thereby motor performance for those with DCD. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of end-state-comfort (ESC) and the minimal rotation strategy using a grip selection task in children with DCD with and without motor imagery instructions. Boys with (n = 14) and without DCD (n = 18) aged 7 – 12 years completed one, two and three colour sequences of a grip selection (octagon) task. Two conditions were examined; a Motor Planning (MP) condition requiring only the performance of the task and a Motor Imagery and Planning (MIP) condition, which included an instruction to imagine performing the movement before execution. For the MP condition, children with DCD ended fewer trials in ESC for the one (p=0.001) and two colour (p=0.002) sequences and used a minimal rotation strategy more often than those without DCD. For the MIP condition, the DCD group significantly increased their use of the ESC strategy for the one colour sequences (p=0.014) while those without DCD improved for the two colour (p=0.008) sequences. ESC level of the DCD group on the MIP condition was similar to those without DCD at baseline for all colour sequences. Motor imagery shows potential as a strategy for improving motor planning in children with DCD. Implications and limitations are discussed.

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Bhoyroo, Ranila
Hands, Beth
Wilmut, Kate
Hyde, Christian
Wigley, Adam

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-09-02

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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