This paper traces the rare intertwining of motor learning theory and research undertaken with mentally retarded (MR) individuals. Some of the broad themes in the research are outlined from a historical context, and their impact on motor learning in MR persons is examined. If for no other reason than the sheer volume of the work, traditional information processing theory is emphasized within its historical context. The review treats as subject matter the main theoretical developments leading to the adoption of the information processing model. Rationale for the widespread use of the model to account for rather than describe the performance of MR persons is outlined, particularly as it relates to theoretical development. Further, some comment on the state of knowledge is added along with conjecture about the future of motor control research with MR individuals.
Request reprints from Dr. Michael G. Wade, Dept. of Physical Education, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901.