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Constrained action selection in children with developmental\ud coordination disorder

By L. Pettit, J. Charles, A.D. Wilson, M.S. Plumb, A. Brockman, J.H.G. Williams and M. Mon-Williams

Abstract

The effect of advance (‘precue’) information on short aiming movements was explored in adults, high school children, and primary school children with and without developmental coordination disorder (n = 10, 14, 16, 10, respectively). Reaction times in the DCD group were longer than in the other groups and were more influenced by the extent to which the precue constrained the possible action space. In contrast, reaction time did not alter as a function of precue condition in adults. Children with DCD showed greater inaccuracy of response (despite the increased RT). We suggest that the different precue effects reflect differences in the relative benefits of priming an action prior to definitive information about the movement goal. The benefits are an interacting function of the task and the skill level of the individual. Our experiment shows that children with DCD gain a benefit from advance preparation in simple aiming movements, highlighting their low skill levels. This result suggests that goal-directed RTs may have diagnostic potential within the clinic.\u

Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V.
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:8657

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