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Development of motor imagery in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder: a longitudinal study
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7878-4488
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2804-3200
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3390-8456
Umeå universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3710-8368
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2022 (English)In: Brain Sciences, ISSN 2076-3425, E-ISSN 2076-3425, Vol. 12, no 10, article id 1307Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a diagnosis based on social communication deficits and prevalence of repetitive stereotyped behaviors, but sensorimotor disturbances are commonly exhibited. This longitudinal study aimed at exploring the development of the ability to form mental motor representations (motor imagery; MI) in 14 children with ASD and 17 typically developing (TD) children at 7, 8 and 9 years of age. MI was investigated using a hand laterality paradigm from which response times (RT) and error rates were extracted and compared with performance on a visually based mental rotation task (VI). A criterion task was used to ensure that the children could perform the task. The results showed wide performance variability in the ASD group with more failures than TD in the MI criterion task, especially at 7 years. For all age levels and both the MI and VI tasks, the error rates were significantly higher and RTs longer for the ASD group compared with TD. Signs of MI strategies were however noted in the ASD group as biomechanically constrained orientations had longer RTs than less constrained orientations, a RT pattern that differed from the VI task. The presence of MI in the ASD group was most evident at 9 years, but the error rates remained high at all ages, both in the MI and VI task. In comparison, the TD group showed stable MI strategies at all ages. These findings indicate that MI ability is delayed and/or impaired in children with ASD which may be related to difficulties performing required mental rotations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI , 2022. Vol. 12, no 10, article id 1307
Keywords [en]
autism spectrum disorder, development, longitudinal, motor imagery, visual imagery
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-104820DOI: 10.3390/brainsci12101307ISI: 000872423700001PubMedID: 36291242Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85140593620OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-104820DiVA, id: diva2:1846050
Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2015.0192Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, 2020.0200Available from: 2024-03-21 Created: 2024-03-21 Last updated: 2024-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, Anna-MariaRudolfsson, ThomasBäckström, AnnaRönnqvist, LouiseDomellöf, Erik

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