Attention disengagement in children with developmental coordination disorder.Disabil Rehabil. 2007 Jan 15; 29(1):47-55.DR
Previous research has shown that children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) have poorly developed strategies for allocating attention. This study examines the allocation of attention and integration of visuo-spatial and motor systems in children with DCD in a motor (look+hit condition) and a motor-free (look condition) task.
Three groups of control children were used to compare the performance of a group of children with DCD. Children were seated in front of a central fixation point and six peripheral targets, and were asked to look at or hit targets when illuminated. Saccade/hand movement latencies were measured on gap trials (gap between fixation offset and target onset) and overlap trials (fixation offset and target onset overlapped).
DCD children were not slower than controls to disengage attention during the look condition. However, during the look+hit condition the DCD children showed a prolonged disengagement period, which was also seen in younger control children.
The results suggest that DCD children may have deficits in the allocation of attention for action, in both the speed of onset of a movement and the accuracy of the movement. It is concluded that attention disengagement may contribute to problems of visuo-motor integration in DCD.