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Sensorimotor planning, integration, and execution processes in autism spectrum disorders

Clowes, D (2022) Sensorimotor planning, integration, and execution processes in autism spectrum disorders. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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The focus of this thematic thesis was to conduct an examination into the autistic differences to underlying sensorimotor planning, integration, and execution processes. The distinct protocols in the current programme of work: imitation in upper-limb motor control (chapter two), upper-limb single and two-segment manual aiming (chapter three) and stepping behaviour in obstacle crossing (chapter four), provide independent, yet related, examinations of underlying autistic sensorimotor behaviour compared to typically developing controls. Chapter two revealed that autistic participants successfully imitated atypical biological motion kinematics when the imitation environment was structured to facilitate trial-by-trial processing, and interference in the inter-trial delay over time influenced consolidatory offline sensorimotor processes related to planning. Chapter three revealed that autistic adolescents show significant alterations to sensorimotor planning processes during single and two-segment manual aiming. Chapter four revealed significant sensorimotor integration differences during obstacle crossing in autistic participants who require substantial or very substantial support. Across all experimental chapters in the current thesis, there also appeared to be significant autistic variability increases across several key dependant variables, implicating altered sensorimotor feedforward planning processes. Additionally, there also appears to be evidence of intact sensorimotor feedback processes whereby autistic participants utilise the online integration of sensory information to compensate for earlier variabilities. This thesis will seek to synthesise, summarise, and appraise key findings between experimental chapters, relative to current literature, with both theoretical and wider implications for the motor control and autistic communities discussed and future directions identified.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders; Sensorimotor control; Motor planning; Motor execution; Imitation; Manual aiming; Obstacle crossing
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 11:07
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2022 09:51
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00017195
Supervisors: Andrew, Matthew, Bennett, Simon and Hayes, Spencer
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17195
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