Proximal versus distal control in proprioceptively guided movements of motor-impaired children

H. Sigmundsson*, H. T.A. Whiting, R. P. Ingvaldsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Two groups of 7-year-old children diagnosed as motor-impaired (N = 6) or as controls (N = 6) were required to perform a task that involved locating targets under a table-top with one hand while attempting to match the position of the target with the other, on the table-top (intra-modal matching), always without visual control. The experimental design involved three different conditions: proximal control (P), distal control (D) or both (PD). Target distance errors were analysed in terms of absolute (AE) and variable error. When the scores for each hand were combined, the motor- impaired group showed inferior mean performance (AE scores) on all three conditions as compared with the control children and were also more variable in their behaviour. Analyses of scores achieved with the right and the left hand separately, however, demonstrated that the difference could largely be attributed to the scores obtained when matching with the right hand in conditions P and PD, and matching with the left hand in condition D. Possible explanations of these findings are discussed in the context of 'delay' (developmental lag) and/or 'deviancy' (neurological lesion/disconnection).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-54
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funds for this investigation were provided by grants to H.S. from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU Trondheim

Other keywords

  • Intra-modal matching
  • Motor-impaired children
  • Perceptual information
  • Proximal/distal distinction
  • Somatosensory system


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