We sought to determine the effects of varying the perceptual demands of a suprapostural visual task on the postural activity of children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD), and typically developing children (TDC). Sixty-four (32 per group) children aged between 9 and 10 years participated. In a within-participants design, each child performed a signal detection task at two levels of difficulty, low (LD) and high difficulty (HD). During performance of the signal detection tasks we recorded positional variability of the head and torso using a magnetic tracking system. We found that task difficulty had a greater effect on task performance among the TDC group than among children with DCD. Overall positional variability was greater the DCD group than in the TDC group. In the TDC group, positional variability was reduced during performance of the HD task, relative to sway during performance of the LD task. In the DCD group, positional variability was greater during performance of the HD task than during performance of the LD task. In children, DCD may reduce the strength of functional integration of postural activity with the demands of suprapostural visual tasks.
- Developmental coordination disorder
- Perceptual demand
- Postural control