Head-torso-hand coordination in children with and without developmental coordination disorder

Vera Elders, Sinead Sheehan, Andrew D Wilson, Martin Levesley, Bipin Bhakta, Mark Mon-Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


AIM This study investigated the nature of coordination and control problems in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD). METHOD Seven adults (two males, five females, age range 20–28y; mean 23y, SD 2y 8mo) and eight children with DCD (sixmales, two females, age range 7–9y;mean 8y, SD 8mo), and 10 without DCD (seven males, three females, age range 7–9y; mean 8y, SD 7mo) sat in a swivel chair and looked at or pointed to targets. Optoelectronic apparatus recorded head, torso, and handmovements, and the spatial and temporal characteristics of the movements were computed. RESULTS Head movement times were longer (p<0.05) in children with DCD than in the comparison group, even in the looking task, suggesting that these children experience problems at the lowest level of coordination (the coupling of synergistic muscle groups within a single degree of freedom). Increasing the task demands with the pointing condition affected the performance of children with DCD to amuch greater extent than the other groups,most noticeably in key feedforward kinematic landmarks. Temporal coordination data indicated that all three groups attempted to produce similar movement patterns to each other, but that the children with DCD were much less successful than age-matched children in the comparison group. INTERPRETATION Children with DCD have difficulty coordinating and controlling single degree-offreedommovements; this problem makes more complex tasks disproportionately difficult for them. Quantitative analysis of kinematics provides key insights into the nature of the problems faced by children with DCD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jun 2009
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • movement
  • coordination
  • eye-hand
  • DCD
  • neurodevelopmental


Dive into the research topics of 'Head-torso-hand coordination in children with and without developmental coordination disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this