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Tactile localization performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) corresponds to their motor skill and not their cognitive ability

Johnston, J. S., Begum Ali, J., Hill, E. L. and Bremner, A. J. (2017) Tactile localization performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) corresponds to their motor skill and not their cognitive ability. Human Movement Science, 53. pp. 72-83. ISSN 0167-9457

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.humov.2016.12.008

Abstract/Summary

When localizing touches to the hands, typically developing children and adults show a “crossed hands effect” whereby identifying which hand received a tactile stimulus is less accurate when the hands are crossed than uncrossed. This demonstrates the use of an external frame of reference for locating touches to one’s own body. Given that studies indicate that developmental vision plays a role in the emergence of external representations of touch, and reliance on vision for representing the body during action is atypical in developmental coordination disorder (DCD), we investigated external spatial representations of touch in children with DCD using the “crossed hands effect”. Nineteen children with DCD aged 7–11 years completed a tactile localization task in which posture (uncrossed, crossed) and view (hands seen, unseen) were varied systematically. Their performance was compared to that of 35 typically developing controls (19 of a similar age and cognitive ability, and 16 of a younger age but similar fine motor ability). Like controls, the DCD group exhibited a crossed hands effect, whilst their overall tactile localization performance was weaker than their peers of similar age and cognitive ability, but in line with younger controls of similar motor ability. For children with movement difficulties, these findings indicate tactile localization impairments in relation to age expectations, but apparently typical use of an external reference frame for localizing touch.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:68944
Publisher:Elsevier

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