The role of vision for online control of manual aiming movements in persons with autism spectrum disorders
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Recent studies suggest motor skills are not entirely spared in individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Previous reports demonstrated that young adults with ASD were able to land accurately on a target despite increased temporal and spatial variability during their movement. This study explored how a group of adolescents and young adults with an ASD used vision and proprioception to land successfully on one of two targets. Participants performed eye movements and/or manual reaching movements, either with or without vision. Although eye movements were executed in a similar timeframe, participants with ASD took longer to plan and execute manual reaching movements. They also exhibited significantly greater variability during eye and hand movements, but were able to land on the target regardless of the vision condition. In general, individuals with autism used vision and proprioception. However, they took considerably more time to perform movements that required greater visual-proprioceptive integration.
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