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Journal articles

Specific Cues Can Improve Procedural Learning and Retention in Developmental Coordination Disorder and/or Developmental Dyslexia

Abstract : The present study investigates procedural learning of motor sequences in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and/or developmental dyslexia (DD), typically-developing children (TD) and healthy adults with a special emphasis on (1) the role of the nature of stimuli and (2) the neuropsychological functions associated to final performance of the sequence. Seventy children and ten adults participated in this study and were separated in five experimental groups: TD, DCD, DD, and DCD + DD children and adults. Procedural learning was assessed with a serial reaction time task (SRTT) that required to tap on a specific key as accurately and quickly as possible when stimuli appeared on the screen. Three types of stimuli were proposed as cues: the classical version of the SRTT with 4 squares aligned horizontally on the screen, giving visuospatial cues (VS cues), and two modified versions, with 4 letters aligned horizontally on the screen (VS + L cues) and letters at the center of the screen (L cues). Reaction times (RT) during the repeated and random blocks allowed assessing three phases of learning: global learning, specific learning and retention of the sequence. Learning was considered as completed when RT evolved significantly in the three phases. Neuropsychological assessment involved, among other functions, memory and attentional functions. Our main result was that learning and retention were not influenced by the available cues in adults whereas learning improved with specific cues in children with or without neurodevelopmental disorders. More precisely, learning was not completed with L cues in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. For children with DD, learning was completed with the VS and VS + L cues whereas for children with DCD (with or without DD), learning was completed with combined VS + L cues. Comorbidity between DD and DCD had no more impact on procedural learning than DCD alone. These results suggest that learning depends on the nature of cues available during practice and that cues allowing learning and retention depend on the type of disorder. Moreover, selective attention was correlated with RT during retention, suggesting that this neuropsychological function is important for procedural learning whatever the available cues.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 2:25:32 PM
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M. Blais, M. Jucla, S. Maziero, J-M Albaret, Y. Chaix, et al.. Specific Cues Can Improve Procedural Learning and Retention in Developmental Coordination Disorder and/or Developmental Dyslexia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2021, 15, ⟨10.3389/fnhum.2021.744562⟩. ⟨hal-03514824⟩

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