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Getting off to a shaky start: specificity in planning and feedforward control during sensorimotor learning in autism spectrum disorder

Foster, NC, Bennett, SJ, Causer, J, Elliott, D, Bird, G and Hayes, SJ (2019) Getting off to a shaky start: specificity in planning and feedforward control during sensorimotor learning in autism spectrum disorder. Autism Research. ISSN 1939-3792

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Abstract

Whilst autistic individuals develop new internal action models during sensorimotor learning, the acquired movements are executed less accurately and with greater variability. Such movement profiles are related to differences in sensorimotor integration and/or altered feedforward/feedback sensorimotor control. We investigated the processes underlying sensorimotor learning in autism by quantifying accuracy and variability, relative timing, and feedforward and feedback control. Although autistic individuals demonstrated significant sensorimotor learning across trials, which was facilitated by processing knowledge-of-results feedback, motor execution was less accurate than non-autistic individuals. Kinematic analysis indicated that autistic individuals showed significantly greater spatial variability at peak acceleration, but comparable spatial variability at peak velocity. These kinematic markers suggest that autistic movement profiles are driven by specific differences in sensorimotor control processes (i.e., internal action models) associated with planning and regulating the forces required to execute the movement. The reduction of variability at peak velocity indicates intact early feedback-based sensorimotor control in autism. Understanding how feedforward and feedback-based control processes operate provides an opportunity to explore how these control processes influence the acquisition of socio-motor actions in autism.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Foster, N. C., Bennett, S. J., Causer, J. , Elliott, D. , Bird, G. and Hayes, S. J. (2019), Getting Off to a Shaky Start: Specificity in Planning and Feedforward Control During Sensorimotor Learning in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Research., which has been published in final form at https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/aur.2214. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1103 Clinical Sciences, 1109 Neurosciences, 1701 Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sports & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2019 11:19
Last Modified: 30 Oct 2019 10:30
DOI or Identification number: 10.1002/aur.2214
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11333

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