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Purpose This paper discusses the merits of a hybrid model of developmental coordination disorder (DCD), one that integrates cognitive neuroscience and ecological systems approaches. More specifically, we present an integrative summary of recent empirical work on DCD that enlist behavioural and neuroimaging methods and propose a theoretical interpretation through the lens of a hybrid model. Findings The review identifies two current hypotheses of DCD that find consistent support: the internal modelling deficit (IMD) and mirror neuron system (MNS) accounts. However, motor performance and brain activation patterns are not expressed in a uniform way under these hypotheses—motor deficits are manifested variously as a function of specific task and environmental constraints and condition severity. Moreover, we see evidence of compensatory processes and strategies. Summary Taken together, results support the broad hypothesis that children with DCD show distinct motor control deficits and differences in neural structure and function compared with typically developing children. However, researchers still have difficulty ascribing causation. The proposed hybrid (multi-component) model of DCD can help researchers generate novel hypotheses about specific mechanisms, explaining the constellation of deficits that is shown experimentally and observed clinically. This model can be applied to cognate disorders of childhood that affect movement and design of intervention


School of Psychology

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Journal Article

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