Movement Preparation and the Costs and Benefits Associated with Advance Information for Adults with Down Syndrome Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This study examined the extent to which individuals with Down syndrome benefit from visual and verbal advance information about a manual aiming movement. Adults with Down syndrome as well as control subjects with and without mental handicaps performed 10.5-cm manual aiming movements with their preferred hand. On each trial subjects were cued about the specific movement either visually or verbally. On different trial blocks, the cue provided either 50% or 80% certainty. Nonhandicapped control subjects initiated and completed their manual aiming movements more quickly than subjects with mental handicaps. As well, individuals with Down syndrome were found to be slower and more variable in reaction time than participants in the other mentally handicapped group when valid information was provided verbally but not when the cue was provided visually. These results are consistent with the proposal that atypical hemispheric lateralization for speech perception associated with Down syndrome disrupts communication between functional systems responsible for processing of verbal language and organizing movement (Elliott & Weeks, 1993b).

publication date

  • July 1995