Thursday, March 21, 2013

Predictability of Visual Motor Task

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology published research on visual motor deficits in very preterm children.  There were 58 very preterm children (average age 7 yr 6 months and average gestational age 29.2 weeks) and 64 age matched full term children in the study.  The participants IQ was measured and a diagnosis of developmental coordination disorder (DCD) was given if the child scored below the 15th percentile on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children.  The children traced a trail on a touch screen using their index finger to evaluation visual motor performance.  In one condition the children traced a predictable path and in the other condition it was an unpredictable or unstructured path.

The results indicated the following:
  • 46% of the very preterm children received a diagnosis of DCD compared to 16% of the full term children
  • in the predictable path condition there was no difference in visual motor performance between the very preterm and full term children
  • in the non structured path condition the very preterm children had poorer visual motor performance whether DCD was present or not
The researchers concluded that the predictability of a visual motor task plays a crucial role in very preterm children with DCD and without DCD.

Reference: Jorrit F De Kievie et al. The crucial role of the predictability of motor response in visuomotor deficits in very preterm children at school age. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. Article first published online: 17 MAR 2013 DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.12125

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