A previous experiment investigating visuomotor adaptation in typically developing children and children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) suggested poor adaptation to an abruptly induced visuomotor perturbation. In the current study, using a similar center-out drawing task, but administering either an abrupt or a gradual perturbation, and twice as many adaptation trials, we show that typically developing children are well able to successfully update an existing internal model in response to a 60° rotation of the visual feedback, independent of the perturbation condition. Children with DCD, however, updated their internal map more effectively during exposure to an abrupt visuomotor perturbation than to a gradual one. This may suggest that the adaptation process in children with DCD responds differently to small vs. large steps of visuomotor discrepancies. Given the known role of the cerebellum in providing an error signal necessary for updating the internal model in response to a gradual visuomotor distortion, the results of our study add to the growing body of evidence implicating compromised cerebellar function in DCD.
- Motor adaptation
- Motor development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Human Factors and Ergonomics