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  • 1.
    Bäckström, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Motor imagery ability in 7-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder2020Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Knowledge about motor imagery (MI) ability in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited and inconclusive in young children with ASD. The aim of the current study was to investigate MI ability in 7-year-old children with ASD.

    Patients and methods: Thirteen children with ASD and 13 typically developing (TD) children performed a computerized hand laterality judgement task (HLJ) and a non-corporeal visual imagery (VI) control task. All participants passing a criterion test performed the tasks with images at 4 different rotational increments to vary the MI biomechanical demands (HLJ task) or VI angle rotational demands (VI task). Response times (RT) and accuracy were extracted.

    Results: Four children with ASD did not pass the HLJ criterion test and one failed the VI criterion test. The ASD-group had evidently more incorrect responses than TD on both tasks. Analyses of RT showed a biomechanical effect in the MI task and an angle increment effect in the VI task in both groups. Children with ASD had longer RT than TD children on VI but not MI tasks. 

    Conclusion: Findings suggest that both the ASD and control children used MI to solve the HLJ task. However, failures to pass the HLJ criterion test and the increased error rate in the ASD group indicate that MI ability is weaker in young children with autism than TD controls. Notably, a large individual variability in employment of MI within the ASD group was found, ranging from functional, fractional but existing, to absent MI ability. 

  • 2.
    Bäckström, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Motor planning and movement execution during goal-directed sequential manual movements in 6-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder: A kinematic analysis2021Ingår i: Research in Developmental Disabilities, ISSN 0891-4222, E-ISSN 1873-3379, Vol. 115, artikel-id 104014Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Atypical motor functioning is prevalent in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Knowledge of the underlying kinematic properties of these problems is sparse.

    Aims: To investigate characteristics of manual motor planning and performance difficulties/diversity in children with ASD by detailed kinematic measurements. Further, associations between movement parameters and cognitive functions were explored.

    Methods and procedures: Six-year-old children with ASD (N = 12) and typically developing (TD) peers (N = 12) performed a sequential manual task comprising grasping and fitting a semi-circular peg into a goal-slot. The goal-slot orientation was manipulated to impose different motor planning constraints. Movements were recorded by an optoelectronic system.

    Outcomes and results: The ASD-group displayed less efficient motor planning than the TD-group, evident in the reach-to-grasp and transport kinematics and less proactive adjustments of the peg to the goal-slot orientations. The intra-individual variation of movement kinematics was higher in the ASD-group compared to the TD-group. Further, in the ASD-group, movement performance associated negatively with cognitive functions.

    Conclusions and implications: Planning and execution of sequential manual movements proved challenging for children with ASD, likely contributing to problems in everyday actions. Detailed kinematic investigations contribute to the generation of specific knowledge about the nature of atypical motor performance/diversity in ASD. This is of potential clinical relevance.

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  • 3.
    Bäckström, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Action planning in relation to movement performance in 6-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder2019Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Recent research proposes problems with action planning as part of atypical motor functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although findings are inconsistent. This study investigated relations between action planning and movement performance in 6-year-old children with and without ASD.

    Patients and methods: 3D kinematic recordings of preferred arm/hand performance on a sequential peg rotation task with varying complexity of goal insertion (four endpoints and either visual or occluded goal display at onset) were conducted in 6 children with ASD (MAge = 6.4) and 6 typically developing (TD) controls (MAge = 6.5).

    Results: Analyses revealed significant (p < .05) group and task-endpoint differences for movement segmentation (number of movement units, MUs) and 3D movement distance. Children with ASD generally displayed more MUs and longer distances than controls and all children showed increased MUs and movement distance on more complex task-endpoints. TD controls showed significantly shorter movement initiation latency (MIL) durations than ASD in the visual condition and evidently longer MILs in the occluded than visual condition. In contrast, no difference between goal display conditions was shown for the ASD group.

    Conclusion: Children with ASD generally had longer movement distances and more segmented movements than controls, suggesting less efficient movement performance. Movement performance was not evidently affected by goal display condition in either group. However, the lack of MIL differences between goal display conditions within the ASD group indicates reduced pre-planning, possibly affecting movement execution efficiency.

  • 4.
    Bäckström, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden..
    Von Hofsten, Claes
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden..
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Atypical motor planning in an interpersonal context in 9-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)2023Ingår i: 35th EACD Annual meeting European Academy of Childhood Disability: Book of abstracts / [ed] Katja Groleger Sršen; Christopher Newman, European Academy of Childhood Disability , 2023, s. 254-254Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Motor planning deviances may negatively affect interpersonal motor interactions in ASD, although detailed studies are sparse. This study examined motor planning kinematics in an interpersonal and non-interpersonal context in 9-year-old children with ASD and neurotypical peers.

    Patients and methods: Twelve children with ASD and 17 controls performed two different sequential manual tasks (preferred hand): grasping and placing a peg on a wooden disc (non-interpersonal) or in the hand of an examiner (interpersonal). Three-dimensional kinematic recordings of arm/hand movements were performed. Group and task differences were explored for total movement duration (MD), and for peak velocity (PV) and placement of peak velocity (PPV) during reach-to-grasp and transport-to-place movements, respectively.

    Results: Task differences were found in terms of longer MD and higher transport-to-place-PV in the disc- compared to hand-task. An interaction effect was evident for reach-to-grasp-PPV, where the control-group, but not ASD, had earlier reach-to-grasp-PPV and longer relative deceleration in the hand-task compared to the disc-task.

    Conclusion: Results show that the interpersonal context influenced initial reach-to-grasp motor planning in the control-group, but not the ASD-group. Later in the sequential movement (transport-to-place), the interpersonal context seemed to influence motor planning independent of group. Taken together, this indicates support towards a more careful peg-placing in the interpersonal hand-task in the control-group but much less clearly so in the ASD-group.

    Relevance for users and families: Atypical motor planning may influence motor interaction with peers. Investigations of motor planning and movement organization in ASD could thus inform interventions also targeting interpersonal exchange.

  • 5.
    Bäckström, Anna
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Von Hofsten, Claes
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Visuomotor integration in action planning in 7-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder2022Ingår i: Specia issue: Abstracts of the 34th annual meeting of the European Academy of Childhood Disability (EACD) Barcelona, Spain 18-21 May 2022, Mac Keith Press, 2022, s. 65-65, artikel-id P-060Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Difficulties with action planning and visuomotor integration may contribute to atypical motorfunctioning in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), although detailed studies of sensorimotorintegration in action planning are sparse. This ongoing study investigates visuomotor integration in actionplanning in 7-year-old children with and without ASD.

    Patients and methods: A sub-sample of 6 children with ASD and 6 typically developing (TD) controls wereincluded. Recordings of gaze synchronized with 3D kinematic registration were made during performance of amanual sequential peg rotation task with variations in goal insertion complexity. Group differences and relations between movement duration and number of gaze shifts over the sequential movement phases(latency, reach-to-grasp, grasp, and transport-to-fit) were explored.

    Results: No significant group differences were found for either movement duration or number of gaze shifts.When controlling for the between-participants variance, total number of gaze shifts and number of gaze shiftsin reach-to-grasp were related to movement duration in the initial phases of the movement in the TD-group but not in the ASD-group.

    Conclusion: The results indicate that, whilst performance measures were similar between groups, the overallpattern of visuomotor integration was related to feed-forward movement processes in the sequentialmovement in the TD-group but not in the ASD-group. This finding adds support to previous suggestions thatvisuomotor integration underpinning action planning may operate differently in ASD. Synchronizedexamination of gaze and detailed movement registration appears as a promising methodology for detailed investigation of visuomotor integration in action planning.

  • 6.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Bäckström, Anna
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Institutionen för psykologi, Uppsala universitet.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Institutionen för psykologi, Uppsala universitet.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Sequential upper-limb action planning in children with autism spectrum disorder: a kinematic pilot study2018Ingår i: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 60, nr S2, s. 34-34Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Recent research on sensory-motor skill in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) suggest that problems with planning sequential actions may explain difficulties with motor execution in this population. The present pilot study investigated upper-limb movement kinematics during a goal-directed manual task requiring sequential action planning in children with and without ASD at 6-7 years.

    Patients and method: 3D kinematic recordings of performance with the preferred arm/hand during a sequential peg moving task with varying complexity of goal insertion (five endpoint conditions, open/revealed goal presentation) were carried out in 3 children with ASD (2 girls, mean age 6.3 years) and 3 typically developing children (3 girls, mean age 7 years). End state comfort and trial errors were also assessed.

    Results: Preliminary analyses of whole movement spatiotemporal segmentation (movement units, MUs) at trial level revealed significant main effects for group and endpoint condition. Overall, children with ASD consistently performed less proficiently (more MUs) than controls for all conditions across hand/arm and head. Independent of group, all children displayed increased MUs for the more complex endpoints. Children with ASD also showed evidently poorer planning behavior (less end state comfort and increased trial errors) than controls.

    Conclusion: Findings suggest difficulties with sequential movement planning in children with ASD in terms of suboptimal movement organization together with reduced end state comfort and inaccurate goal interpretations. In contrast to controls, children with ASD did not seem to have planned the onward action prior to action execution, contributing to the observed less proficient movement kinematics.

  • 7.
    Domellöf, Erik
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Bäckström, Anna
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University.
    Kinematic characteristics of second‐order motor planning and performance in 6‐ and 10‐year‐old children and adults: Effects of age and task constraints2020Ingår i: Developmental Psychobiology, ISSN 0012-1630, E-ISSN 1098-2302, Vol. 62, nr 2, s. 250-265Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This study explored age‐related differences in motor planning as expressed in arm‐hand kinematics during a sequential peg moving task with varying demands on goal insertion complexity (second‐order planning). The peg was a vertical cylinder with either a circular or semicircular base. The task was to transport the peg between two positions and rotate it various amounts horizontally before fitting into its final position. The amount of rotation required was either 0°, 90°, 180°, or −90°. The reaching for the peg, the displacement of it, and the way the rotation was accomplished was analyzed. Assessments of end state comfort, goal interpretation errors, and type of grip used were also included. Participants were two groups of typically developing children, one younger (Mage = 6.7 years) and one older (Mage = 10.3 years), and one adult group (Mage = 34.9 years). The children, particularly 6‐year‐olds, displayed less efficient prehensile movement organization than adults. Related to less efficient motor planning, 6‐year‐olds, mainly, had shorter reach‐to‐grasp onset latencies, higher velocities, and shorter time to peak velocities, and longer grasp durations than adults. Importantly, the adults rotated the peg during transport. In contrast, the children made corrective rotations after the hand had arrived at the goal.

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  • 8.
    Johansson, A.M.
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Bäckström, Anna
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Action preparation, performance and motor imagery in children with autism spectrum disorder2021Ingår i: Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, ISSN 0012-1622, E-ISSN 1469-8749, Vol. 63, nr S2, s. 39-, artikel-id 36Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Motor anomalies are frequent in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Effective and efficient motor acts rely on the formation of motor plans that serve as predictive models or blue-prints of upcoming actions. We studied movement initiation latencies (MILs) and movement durations in a peg-rotation (PR) task and response times (RT) in a motor imagery (MI) task in children with ASD.

    Patients and Methods: Thirteen 7–8 year-old children with ASD (4 girls) and 17 typically developing (TD) children (9 girls) participated. MILs and PR task duration, extracted from 3D kinematic recordings, and RTs on a MI task (hand laterality judgement task) was compared between children with ASD and TD. The PR-task varied in constraints and the possibility to pre-plan actions was experimentally controlled.

    Results: Nine of the ASD children passed the MI task showing biomechanical constraints effect but the error rate was however higher than in TD. The MILs on the PR-task were shorter when pre-planning was possible, indicating a time cost for movement planning. This cost was highest for the children who failed the MI task, specifically for the PR-task with the highest constraint where task durations also were the highest. Overall, TD children had shorter PR-task durations than ASD.

    Conclusion: MI ability was highly varied for the ASD children. Interestingly, the children with ASD failing the MI task showed the greatest increase in MILs in relation to task difficulty indicative of pre-planning. They also had increased task durations, specifically for the most difficult condition, suggestive of poorer on-line control.

  • 9.
    Johansson, Anna-Maria
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rudolfsson, Thomas
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi. Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, Department of Occupational Health Sciences and Psychology, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.
    Bäckström, Anna
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Rönnqvist, Louise
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    von Hofsten, Claes
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Rosander, Kerstin
    Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Domellöf, Erik
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Development of motor imagery in school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder: a longitudinal study2022Ingår i: Brain Sciences, E-ISSN 2076-3425, Vol. 12, nr 10, artikel-id 1307Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a diagnosis based on social communication deficits and prevalence of repetitive stereotyped behaviors, but sensorimotor disturbances are commonly exhibited. This longitudinal study aimed at exploring the development of the ability to form mental motor representations (motor imagery; MI) in 14 children with ASD and 17 typically developing (TD) children at 7, 8 and 9 years of age. MI was investigated using a hand laterality paradigm from which response times (RT) and error rates were extracted and compared with performance on a visually based mental rotation task (VI). A criterion task was used to ensure that the children could perform the task. The results showed wide performance variability in the ASD group with more failures than TD in the MI criterion task, especially at 7 years. For all age levels and both the MI and VI tasks, the error rates were significantly higher and RTs longer for the ASD group compared with TD. Signs of MI strategies were however noted in the ASD group as biomechanically constrained orientations had longer RTs than less constrained orientations, a RT pattern that differed from the VI task. The presence of MI in the ASD group was most evident at 9 years, but the error rates remained high at all ages, both in the MI and VI task. In comparison, the TD group showed stable MI strategies at all ages. These findings indicate that MI ability is delayed and/or impaired in children with ASD which may be related to difficulties performing required mental rotations.

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