Repetitive Goal-Directed Arm Movements in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorders: Role of Visual Information

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Birgit Rösblad Umea University

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Claes von Hofsten Umea University

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Are children with developmental coordination disorders (DCD) more dependent on vision for constructing movements than children without DCD? How important is visual feedback of the hand and how important is visual specification of the goal in this respect? These questions were studied in 10 children with DCD, 3 girls and 7 boys, ranging in age between 7 and 16 years. Each child was matched against a child of the same sex and age without DCD. The task was to pick beads, one at a time, from one cup and carry them to another cup. With the aid of a mirror arrangement and a curtain, visual information about the performing hand and the cups and beads was manipulated. The movements were monitored with an optoelectronic device (SELSPOT II). The results showed that the children with DCD made movements that were both slower and much more variable than those of their age-matched peers, The withdrawal of visual information affected both groups of children in similar ways. However, one boy with developmental disorders revealed a remarkable decrease in performance when the task was carried out without visual information of either the hand or the cups and beads.

Birgit Rösblad and Claes von Hofsten are. with the Department of Psychology, Umeå University, S-90187 Umeå, Sweden.

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