The neural signature of Developmental Coordination Disorder: Towards a better understanding of motor learning impairments using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

01 October 2020 → 30 September 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Learning and behaviour
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Cognitive neuroscience
    • Motor control
    • Sports sciences
Developmental coordination disorder motor learning structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging
Project description

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs the acquisition of motor skills and motor coordination and affects 1.8-5.5% individuals worldwide. Since a sufficient level of motor control is needed to participate in daily life activities, it is important to understand the nature of these motor learning deficits in order to develop specific motor training for this target audience. Although several studies have examined the link between motor control and brain structure and function in children with DCD, studies often report mixed findings. In addition, only one study to date has examined neuroplasticity in response to motor training. Using a within-subject design, this project will examine the effect of (hyper)acute balance training (resp. 1-hour & 5-days) on brain (structure/function) and behaviour in adults with DCD, which circumvents the confounding influence of maturation in a paediatric population. State-of-the-art imaging techniques (e.g., high angular diffusion weighted MRI) and analysing methods (e.g., constraint spherical deconvolution) will be used to clarify the potential relationship between brain and behaviour as well as to study alterations in response to balance training. Finally, the predictive value of hyperacute adaptation on success rate of a 5-days balance practice will be evaluated. This project enable us to identify predictive biomarkers of motor learning, which can be used to optimise motor interventions for DCD.