The nature of intra- and interlimb (bimanual) coordination was examined in ten boys with (M = 10.5 years, SD = 1.0) and without DCD (M = 10.8 years, SD = .9) in a two-handed catching task. Children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) caught significantly fewer balls (MDCD = 56%, SD = 17.6 vs. MnoDCD = 93%, SD = 7.5), and both groups solved the “degrees of freedom problem” differently at intralimb level of coordination. Typically developing children coupled and decoupled the respective spatial relations, whereas the majority of children with DCD segmented their actions. At interlimb level, both groups exhibited a comparable degree of spatial symmetry. However, individual profiles also showed that children with varying degrees of movement issues exhibited movement patterns that were qualitatively and functionally diverse. Overall, in the context of previous research on interlimb coordination it appears that spatial, in addition to temporal organization, may be jeopardized in at least some children with DCD.
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Eryk P. Przysucha and Brian K.V. Maraj
Shannon D. Ringenbach, Romeo Chua, Brian K. V. Maraj, James C. Kao, and Daniel J. Weeks
Previous experiments involving discrete unimanual tasks have shown that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have auditory/verbal-motor deficits. The present study investigated unimanual and bimanual continuous perceptual-motor actions in adults with DS. Ten adults with DS, 10 typical adults, and 10 children drew continuous circles at increasing periods bimanually and unimanually with each hand. Movement was paced by either a visual or an auditory metronome. The results revealed that for circle shape and coordination measures, children and adults were more accurate with the visual metronome, whereas adults with DS were more accurate with the auditory metronome. In the unimanual tasks, adults with DS displayed hand asymmetries on spatial measures. In the bimanual task, however, adults with DS adopted an in-phase coordination pattern and stability more similar to adults than children. These results suggest that bimanual coordination in adults with DS is functioning effectively despite hand asymmetries evident in unimanual performance.
Brian K.V. Maraj, Li Li, Rebecca Hillman, Jennifer J. Jeansonne, and Shannon D. Ringenbach
This study examined motor learning in persons with Down syndrome (DS), persons with undifferentiated developmental disabilities (UnDD), and persons without disabilities (ND). Participants were instructed (either by verbal instruction or visual demonstration) to move a cursor to three items displayed on a computer screen. Results indicated that the ND group had superior performances to the other two groups for both instruction conditions. Participants with DS performed the task with both longer response and movement times when instructed verbally. In a transfer condition, results revealed the UnDD group displayed poor transfer, while participants with DS showed positive transfer from visual to verbal protocols. These results provide some evidence that persons with DS may be able to consolidate visual information to facilitate verbal-motor learning.