Unimanual and bimanual continuous movements benefit from visual instructions in persons with Down syndrome.

Program of Kinesiology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0701, USA.
Journal of Motor Behavior (Impact Factor: 1.42). 05/2012; 44(4):233-9. DOI: 10.1080/00222895.2012.684909
Source: PubMed


The authors' aim was to understand how persons with Down syndrome (DS) perform different tasks and to assess if there were any differences in performance based on the type of instructions. This is important because of neurological differences in persons with DS and neurological demands for performing different types of tasks. Twenty right-handed participants with DS, 20 chronological age-matched (CA), and 20 mental age-matched (MA) performed unimanual, bimanual, discrete, and continuous drumming following visual, auditory, and verbal instructions. Overall, discrete drumming was performed with shorter movement times than continuous drumming and unimanual drumming was performed with shorter movement amplitude than bimanual drumming. With respect to instructions, persons with DS performed with smaller amplitudes, thus more efficient movements, following the visual instructions than auditory and verbal instructions for all types of tasks, whereas CA performed similarly with all instructions and MA performed with smaller amplitudes with visual instructions than auditory instructions. These results suggest that visual instruction provides the best information for people with DS to aid in performance of many different types of movements.

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    • "Specifically, the cerebellum of people with Down syndrome is smaller and less dense than that of their typically developing peers (Pinter et al. 2001), which results in balance, motor control, and motor learning deficits. In addition, the corpus callosum is thinner causing disrupted efficiency of bimanual movement (Ringenbach et al. 2012). These individuals may also have difficulty with goal-directed functioning as they have a smaller frontal lobe (Cebula, Moore, and Wishart 2010) and may have hearing complications as the temporal gyrus is narrower than those with typical development (Pinter et al. 2001). "
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