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Oculomotor atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder

Sumner, E., Hutton, S. B., Kuhn, G. & Hill, E. L. ORCID: 0000-0003-3130-1271 (2016). Oculomotor atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder. Developmental Science, 21(1), e12501. doi: 10.1111/desc.12501


Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) fail to acquire adequate motor skill, yet surprisingly little is known about the oculomotor system in DCD. Successful completion of motor tasks is supported by accurate visual feedback. The purpose of this study was to determine whether any oculomotor differences can distinguish between children with and without a motor impairment. Using eye tracking technology, visual fixation, smooth pursuit, and pro- and anti-saccade performance were assessed in 77 children that formed three groups: children with DCD (aged 7–10), chronologically age (CA) matched peers, and a motor-match (MM) group (aged 4–7). Pursuit gain and response preparation in the pro- and anti-saccade tasks were comparable across groups. Compared to age controls, children with DCD had deficits in maintaining engagement in the fixation and pursuit tasks, and made more anti-saccade errors. The two typically developing groups performed similarly, except on the fast speed smooth pursuit and antisaccade tasks, where the CA group outperformed the younger MM group. The findings suggest that children with DCD have problems with saccadic inhibition and maintaining attention on a visual target. Developmental patterns were evident in the typically developing groups, suggesting that the pursuit system and cognitive control develop with age. This study adds to the literature by being the first to systematically identify specific oculomotor differences between children with and without a motor impairment. Further examination of oculomotor control may help to identify underlying processes contributing to DCD.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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