Dual-task study of cognitive and postural interference: A preliminary investigation of the automatization deficit hypothesis of developmental co-ordination disorder

Chia Liang Tsai, C. Y. Pan, R. J. Cherng, S. K. Wu

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether children with developmental co-ordination disorder and balance problem (DCD-BP) had greater problems than controls in performing a primary balance task while concurrently completing different cognitive tasks varying in oral or listening cognitive complexity, as well as to investigate the automatization deficit hypothesis of DCD-BP. Methods: Children with DCD-BP (n = 39), along with age-matched control counterparts (n = 39), were placed on automatic processing situation under dual-task conditions. All children were required to perform a primary task, five dual-task paradigms (oral counting task, auditory-verbal reaction task, auditory-choice reaction task, auditory-memory task and articulation alone) and an eyes-closed balancing task. Results: In the primary task condition, the differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.393) between children with and without DCD-BP. However, children with DCD-BP were significantly more impaired on three of five dual-task conditions (oral counting task: P = 0.003; auditory-verbal reaction task: P = 0.011; auditory-memory task: P = 0.041) compared with the single-task situation, with the exception of the auditory-choice reaction task (P = 0.471) and articulation alone (P = 0.067). Conclusions: These results suggest that children with DCD-BP were more cognitively dependant and may have an automatization deficit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-560
Number of pages10
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun 18


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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