Objective: Recent theories hypothesize that procedural learning may support the frequent overlap between neurodevelopmental disorders. The neural circuitry supporting procedural learning includes, among others, cortico-cerebellar and cortico-striatal loops. Alteration of these loops may account for the frequent comorbidity between Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) and Developmental Dyslexia (DD). The aim of our study was to investigate cerebral changes due to the learning and automatization of a sequence learning task in children with DD, or DCD, or both disorders. Method: fMRI on 48 children (aged 8-12) with DD, DCD or DD + DCD was used to explore their brain activity during procedural tasks, performed either after two weeks of training or in the early stage of learning. Results: Firstly, our results indicate that all children were able to perform the task with the same level of automaticity, but recruit different brain processes to achieve the same performance. Secondly, our fMRI results do not appear to confirm Nicolson and Fawcett's model. The neural correlates recruited for procedural learning by the DD and the comorbid groups are very close, while the DCD group presents distinct characteristics. This provide a promising direction on the neural mechanisms associated with procedural learning in neurodevelopmental disorders and for understanding comorbidity.
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology