Oculomotor atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder

Sumner, Emma; Hutton, Samuel B.; Kuhn, Gustav and Hill, Elisabeth L.. 2018. Oculomotor atypicalities in Developmental Coordination Disorder. Developmental Science, 21(1), e12501. ISSN 1363-755X [Article]

Sumner-2016-Developmental Science.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (301kB) | Preview
Sumner et al DevSci2016 accepted.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (674kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) fail to acquire adequate motor skill, yet surprisingly little is known about the oculomotor system in DCD. Successful completion of motor tasks is supported by accurate visual feedback. The purpose of this study was to determine whether any oculomotor differences can distinguish between children with and without a motor impairment. Using eye tracking technology, visual fixation, smooth pursuit, and pro- and anti-saccade performance were assessed in 77 children that formed three groups: children with DCD (aged 7–10), chronologically age (CA) matched peers, and a motor-match (MM) group (aged 4–7). Pursuit gain and response preparation in the pro- and anti-saccade tasks were comparable across groups. Compared to age controls, children with DCD had deficits in maintaining engagement in the fixation and pursuit tasks, and made more anti-saccade errors. The two typically developing groups performed similarly, except on the fast speed smooth pursuit and antisaccade tasks, where the CA group outperformed the younger MM group. The findings suggest that children with DCD have problems with saccadic inhibition and maintaining attention on a visual target. Developmental patterns were evident in the typically developing groups, suggesting that the pursuit system and cognitive control develop with age. This study adds to the literature by being the first to systematically identify specific oculomotor differences between children with and without a motor impairment. Further examination of oculomotor control may help to identify underlying processes contributing to DCD.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Additional Information:

This research was supported by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2012-742) to E. Hill at Goldsmiths, University of London. Special thanks go to all participating schools, children and parents. Thanks are also due to our departmental technician, Maurice Douglas.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



10 August 2016Accepted
17 October 2016Published Online
1 January 2018Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

13 Jan 2017 15:19

Last Modified:

03 Aug 2021 15:04

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)