Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD

Elizabeth A. Sharer, Stewart H Mostofsky, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Lindsay M. Oberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In addition to defining impairments in social communication skills, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also show impairments in more basic sensory and motor skills. Development of new skills involves integrating information from multiple sensory modalities. This input is then used to form internal models of action that can be accessed when both performing skilled movements, as well as understanding those actions performed by others. Learning skilled gestures is particularly reliant on integration of visual and proprioceptive input. We used a modified serial reaction time task (SRTT) to decompose proprioceptive and visual components and examine whether patterns of implicit motor skill learning differ in ASD participants as compared with healthy controls. While both groups learned the implicit motor sequence during training, healthy controls showed robust generalization whereas ASD participants demonstrated little generalization when visual input was constant. In contrast, no group differences in generalization were observed when proprioceptive input was constant, with both groups showing limited degrees of generalization. The findings suggest, when learning a motor sequence, individuals with ASD tend to rely less on visual feedback than do healthy controls. Visuomotor representations are considered to underlie imitative learning and action understanding and are thereby crucial to social skill and cognitive development. Thus, anomalous patterns of implicit motor learning, with a tendency to discount visual feedback, may be an important contributor in core social communication deficits that characterize ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAutism Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2015

Fingerprint

Learning
Sensory Feedback
Motor Skills
Communication
Gestures
Reaction Time
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Social Skills

Keywords

  • ASD
  • Motor learning
  • Proprioception
  • Serial reaction time task

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD. / Sharer, Elizabeth A.; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Oberman, Lindsay M.

In: Autism Research, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sharer, Elizabeth A. ; Mostofsky, Stewart H ; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro ; Oberman, Lindsay M. / Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD. In: Autism Research. 2015.
@article{75f7857def9b4210a9fcdd733ea074ba,
title = "Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD",
abstract = "In addition to defining impairments in social communication skills, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also show impairments in more basic sensory and motor skills. Development of new skills involves integrating information from multiple sensory modalities. This input is then used to form internal models of action that can be accessed when both performing skilled movements, as well as understanding those actions performed by others. Learning skilled gestures is particularly reliant on integration of visual and proprioceptive input. We used a modified serial reaction time task (SRTT) to decompose proprioceptive and visual components and examine whether patterns of implicit motor skill learning differ in ASD participants as compared with healthy controls. While both groups learned the implicit motor sequence during training, healthy controls showed robust generalization whereas ASD participants demonstrated little generalization when visual input was constant. In contrast, no group differences in generalization were observed when proprioceptive input was constant, with both groups showing limited degrees of generalization. The findings suggest, when learning a motor sequence, individuals with ASD tend to rely less on visual feedback than do healthy controls. Visuomotor representations are considered to underlie imitative learning and action understanding and are thereby crucial to social skill and cognitive development. Thus, anomalous patterns of implicit motor learning, with a tendency to discount visual feedback, may be an important contributor in core social communication deficits that characterize ASD.",
keywords = "ASD, Motor learning, Proprioception, Serial reaction time task",
author = "Sharer, {Elizabeth A.} and Mostofsky, {Stewart H} and Alvaro Pascual-Leone and Oberman, {Lindsay M.}",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1002/aur.1537",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Autism Research",
issn = "1939-3806",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Isolating Visual and Proprioceptive Components of Motor Sequence Learning in ASD

AU - Sharer, Elizabeth A.

AU - Mostofsky, Stewart H

AU - Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

AU - Oberman, Lindsay M.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - In addition to defining impairments in social communication skills, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also show impairments in more basic sensory and motor skills. Development of new skills involves integrating information from multiple sensory modalities. This input is then used to form internal models of action that can be accessed when both performing skilled movements, as well as understanding those actions performed by others. Learning skilled gestures is particularly reliant on integration of visual and proprioceptive input. We used a modified serial reaction time task (SRTT) to decompose proprioceptive and visual components and examine whether patterns of implicit motor skill learning differ in ASD participants as compared with healthy controls. While both groups learned the implicit motor sequence during training, healthy controls showed robust generalization whereas ASD participants demonstrated little generalization when visual input was constant. In contrast, no group differences in generalization were observed when proprioceptive input was constant, with both groups showing limited degrees of generalization. The findings suggest, when learning a motor sequence, individuals with ASD tend to rely less on visual feedback than do healthy controls. Visuomotor representations are considered to underlie imitative learning and action understanding and are thereby crucial to social skill and cognitive development. Thus, anomalous patterns of implicit motor learning, with a tendency to discount visual feedback, may be an important contributor in core social communication deficits that characterize ASD.

AB - In addition to defining impairments in social communication skills, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) also show impairments in more basic sensory and motor skills. Development of new skills involves integrating information from multiple sensory modalities. This input is then used to form internal models of action that can be accessed when both performing skilled movements, as well as understanding those actions performed by others. Learning skilled gestures is particularly reliant on integration of visual and proprioceptive input. We used a modified serial reaction time task (SRTT) to decompose proprioceptive and visual components and examine whether patterns of implicit motor skill learning differ in ASD participants as compared with healthy controls. While both groups learned the implicit motor sequence during training, healthy controls showed robust generalization whereas ASD participants demonstrated little generalization when visual input was constant. In contrast, no group differences in generalization were observed when proprioceptive input was constant, with both groups showing limited degrees of generalization. The findings suggest, when learning a motor sequence, individuals with ASD tend to rely less on visual feedback than do healthy controls. Visuomotor representations are considered to underlie imitative learning and action understanding and are thereby crucial to social skill and cognitive development. Thus, anomalous patterns of implicit motor learning, with a tendency to discount visual feedback, may be an important contributor in core social communication deficits that characterize ASD.

KW - ASD

KW - Motor learning

KW - Proprioception

KW - Serial reaction time task

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84945308974&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84945308974&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/aur.1537

DO - 10.1002/aur.1537

M3 - Article

C2 - 26442448

AN - SCOPUS:84945308974

JO - Autism Research

JF - Autism Research

SN - 1939-3806

ER -