Movement Planning and Reprogramming in Individuals With Autism
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Two experiments explored how individuals with and without autism plan and reprogram movements. Participants were given partial or complete information regarding the location of the upcoming manual movement. In Experiment 1, direct information specified the hand or direction of the upcoming movement. These results replicated previous reports that participants with autism utilize advance information to prepare their movements in the same manner as their chronologically age matched peers. Experiment 2 examined how individuals respond to an unexpected change in the movement requirements. Participants received advance information about the hand and direction of the upcoming movement. On 20% of the trials participants needed to adjust either the hand or direction they had prepared. Overall, the individuals with autism had difficulty reprogramming already planned movements, particularly if a different effector was required.
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