Relationship of ocular accommodation and motor skills performance in developmental coordination disorder

Sara A. Rafique, Nadia Northway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Ocular accommodation provides a well-focussed image, feedback for accurate eye movement control, and cues for depth perception. To accurately perform visually guided motor tasks, integration of ocular motor systems is essential. Children with motor coordination impairment are established to be at higher risk of accommodation anomalies. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between ocular accommodation and motor tasks, which are often overlooked, in order to better understand the problems experienced by children with motor coordination impairment. Visual function, gross and fine motor skills were assessed in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and typically developing control children. Children with DCD had significantly poorer accommodation facility and amplitude dynamics compared to controls. Results indicate a relationship between impaired accommodation and motor skills. Specifically, accommodation anomalies correlated with visual motor, upper limb and fine dexterity task performance. Consequently, we argue accommodation anomalies influence the ineffective coordination of action and perception in DCD. Furthermore, reading disabilities were related to poorer motor performance. We postulate the role of the fastigial nucleus as a common pathway for accommodation and motor deficits. Implications of the findings and recommended visual screening protocols are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Movement Science
Early online date24 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Accommodation, Ocular/physiology
  • Cerebellar Nuclei/physiopathology
  • Child
  • Dyslexia/diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills/physiology
  • Motor Skills Disorders/diagnosis
  • Psychomotor Performance/physiology
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Vision Screening
  • Motor skills
  • Ocular accommodation
  • Ocular motor
  • Developmental coordination disorder


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