Our next study is an extension of previous work looking at visuomotor skill of children with DCD.
We know that the duration of aiming and tracking quiet eye (QE) periods can distinguish between children of different motor coordination abilities (Wilson, Miles, Vine & Vickers, Press). Our training studies also indicate that increasing these QE durations is an effective intervention to improve catching performance in typically developing children and those suffering from developmental coordination disorder (DCD).
However it remains unclear whether DCD disrupts the planning or execution of movements. Literature suggests both are affected but no studies have attempted to address which may be more significant. It has been proposed that by adulthood, individuals with DCD learn to compensate for coordination deficits (Cousins & Smyth, 2003), yet it’s unclear how adaptations occur and what visual information is crucial to maintain motor performance.
We will be using a throwing and catching task with different shaped balls to try and assess this. A misshapen ball vastly reduces a participant’s ability to pre-plan a response. This information will therefore help to identify whether it’s the ability to plan a response or the online adaptions that individuals with and without DCD rely on. This will also be the first study to provide insight into what changes adults use to overcome movement difficulties.