The study was aimed at better clarifying whether action execution impairment in autism depends mainly on disruptions either in feedforward mechanisms or in feedback-based control processes supporting motor execution. To this purpose, we analyzed prehension movement kinematics in 4- and 5-year-old children with autism and in peers with typical development. Statistical analysis showed that the kinematics of the grasp component was spared in autism, whereas early kinematics of the reach component was atypical. We discussed this evidence as suggesting impairment in the feedforward processes involved in action execution, whereas impairment in feedback-based control processes remained unclear. We proposed that certain motor abilities are available in autism, and children may use them differently as a function of motor context complexity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology