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The Differential Effects of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Learning, Retention and Reactivation of a Perceptual-Motor Temporal Sequence in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder

Abstract : This study investigates the procedural learning, retention, and reactivation of temporal sensorimotor sequences in children with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Twenty typically-developing (TD) children and 12 children with DCD took part in this study. The children were required to tap on a keyboard, synchronizing with auditory or visual stimuli presented as an isochronous temporal sequence, and practice non-isochronous temporal sequences to memorize them. Immediate and delayed retention of the audio-motor and visuo-motor non-isochronous sequences were tested by removing auditory or visual stimuli immediately after practice and after a delay of 2 h. A reactivation test involved reintroducing the auditory and visual stimuli after the delayed recall. Data were computed via circular analyses to obtain asynchrony, the stability of synchronization and errors (i.e., the number of supplementary taps). Firstly, an overall deficit in synchronization with both auditory and visual isochronous stimuli was observed in DCD children compared to TD children. During practice, further improvements (decrease in asynchrony and increase in stability) were found for the audio-motor non-isochronous sequence compared to the visuo-motor non-isochronous sequence in both TD children and children with DCD. However, a drastic increase in errors occurred in children with DCD during immediate retention as soon as the auditory stimuli were removed. Reintroducing auditory stimuli decreased errors in the audio-motor sequence for children with DCD. Such changes were not seen for the visuo-motor non-isochronous sequence, which was equally learned, retained and reactivated in DCD and TD children. All these results suggest that TD children benefit from both auditory and visual stimuli to memorize the sequence, whereas children with DCD seem to present a deficit in integrating an audio-motor sequence in their memory. The immediate effect of reactivation suggests a specific dependency on auditory information in DCD. Contrary to the audio-motor sequence, the visuo-motor sequence was both learned and retained in children with DCD. This suggests that visual stimuli could be the best information for memorizing a temporal sequence in DCD. All these results are discussed in terms of a specific audio-motor coupling deficit in DCD.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 21, 2022 - 10:01:37 AM
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Mélody Blais, Mélanie Jucla, Stéphanie Maziero, Jean-Michel Albaret, Yves Chaix, et al.. The Differential Effects of Auditory and Visual Stimuli on Learning, Retention and Reactivation of a Perceptual-Motor Temporal Sequence in Children With Developmental Coordination Disorder. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Frontiers, 2021, 15, ⟨10.3389/fnhum.2021.616795⟩. ⟨hal-03582210⟩

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