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Training of compliance control across different scales of movement yields general learning in children

56.3027, Tuesday, 19-May, 2:45 pm - 6:45 pm, Banyan Breezeway
Session: Perception and Action: Reaching and grasping

Winona Snapp-Childs1, Aaron Fath1, Geoffrey Bingham1; 1Psychological & Brain Sciences, Indiana University

Introduction: Previously we (Snapp-Childs et al., 2013a; 2013b; 2014) developed a method that supports active movement generation to allow practice with improvement of good compliance control. We showed that the method allowed children with Developmental Coordination Disorder to improve at a 3D tracing task to become as proficient as Typically Developing children who had also trained. We also showed that the training improved figure copying. In this study, we expanded the training protocol to include a wider variety of ages (5-10 year olds) and we varied the scale of training (smaller or larger figures of the same shape) to assess the generality of learning. Methods: Fifty children (eighteen 5-6 year olds, sixteen 7-8 year olds, and sixteen 9-10 year olds) were tested with the Beery VMI, the 3D tracing task, and a 2D letter-like figure-copying task. The children then trained on one version of the 3D tracing task (smaller or larger scale figures) until they all reached comparably good proficiency. The 3D tracing and copying tasks were tested again following training. Results: Performance on the 3D tracing task at baseline varied as a function of the level of difficulty, size of figure, and age. After training, the age differences were eliminated but the level of difficulty and size effects remained although the differences were greatly reduced. Also, training (on small versus larger figures) now influenced performance: training with small figures gave an advantage on smaller figures, while training with large figures gave an advantage on larger figures. Conclusions: Training on the 3D tracing task, whether with larger or smaller scale figures, greatly improved performance and eliminated age differences but yielded some training specific effects. In conclusion, the training method does yield general learning and is not highly specific to one particular age group.

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