Eye-hand coordination during manual object transport with the affected and less affected hand in adolescents with hemiparetic cerebral palsy

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In the present study we investigated eye–hand coordination in adolescents with hemiparetic cerebral palsy (CP) and neurologically healthy controls. Using an object prehension and transport task, we addressed two hypotheses, motivated by the question whether early brain damage and the ensuing limitations of motor activity lead to general and/or effector-specific effects in visuomotor control of manual actions. We hypothesized that individuals with hemiparetic CP would more closely visually monitor actions with their affected hand, compared to both their less affected hand and to control participants without a sensorimotor impairment. A second, more speculative hypothesis was that, in relation to previously established deficits in prospective action control in individuals with hemiparetic CP, gaze patterns might be less anticipatory in general, also during actions performed with the less affected hand. Analysis of the gaze and hand movement data revealed the increased visual monitoring of participants with CP when using their affected hand at the beginning as well as during object transport. In contrast, no general deficit in anticipatory gaze control in the participants with hemiparetic CP could be observed. Collectively, these findings are the first to directly show that individuals with hemiparetic CP adapt eye–hand coordination to the specific constraints of the moving limb, presumably to compensate for sensorimotor deficits.


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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