Event Abstract

Online control of reaching is impaired in adults with developmental coordination disorder- DCD

  • 1 Deakin University, School of Psychology, Australia
  • 2 Victoria University, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Australia
  • 3 Victoria University, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living and School of Sport and Exercise Science, Australia

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a serious disorder of movement that presents in the absence of identifiable neurological or intellectual deficit. Once considered transitory, there is compelling evidence that without targeted intervention, poor motor skill often persists into adulthood. Though the cause/s of the disorder continue to be debated, we recently demonstrated that children with DCD show a specific deficit in making fast corrections to movement following target displacement (viz online control: Hyde & Wilson, 2011a,b). This suggests possible immaturity at the level of the predictive modelling systems considered critical to online control. However, it is unclear how on-line control (and hence predictive modelling) may be affected in individuals whose motor difficulties persist into adulthood. Accordingly, we compared 7 young adults (aged 19- 25 years) with and without DCD on the double-step reaching task. Participants were required to reach and touch one of three possible targets. For most trials (80%) the target remained stationary throughout movement (non-jump trials), while for the remaining trials (20%) the target jumped to one of two peripheral locations at movement onset (jump-trials). As predicted, adults with DCD showed a reduced capacity for making fast online corrections to reaching shown by overall slower jump trial performance (yet relatively preserved non-jump reaching) and slower reaching trajectory correction: this pattern of results suggests difficulties using predictive estimates of limb position to control reaching. Further, it extends earlier work on children with DCD, suggesting that online control (and therefore predictive modelling) continues to be compromised beyond childhood.


Hyde, C., & Wilson, P. H. (2011a). Dissecting online control in Developmental Coordination Disorder: A kinematic analysis of double-step reaching. Brain and Cognition, 75, 232-241.
Hyde, C., & Wilson, P. H. (2011b). Online control in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder: Chronometric analysis of double-step reaching performance. Child: Care, Health and Development, 37, 111-122.

Keywords: developmental coordination disorder, double-step reaching task, online control, Predictive Modeling, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Conference: ACNS-2012 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 29 Nov - 2 Dec, 2012.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Topic: Motor

Citation: Fuelscher I, Ivancic R, Smalley C, Oguzkaya E, Williams J and Hyde C (2012). Online control of reaching is impaired in adults with developmental coordination disorder- DCD. Conference Abstract: ACNS-2012 Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Conference. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnhum.2012.208.00038

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Received: 25 Oct 2012; Published Online: 07 Nov 2012.

* Correspondence: Dr. Christian Hyde, Deakin University, School of Psychology, Melbourne, Victoria, 3125, Australia, c.hyde@deakin.edu.au