Correlations between motor and intellectual functions in normally developing children between 7 and 18 years

Dev Neuropsychol. 2013;38(2):98-113. doi: 10.1080/87565641.2012.733785.


The relationship between motor and intellectual functions was examined in 252 healthy children from 7 to 18 years using the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment and standardized intelligence tests. The magnitude of Spearman correlations between neuromotor and intellectual scores was generally weak (r = 0.15-0.37). The strongest correlations were found between performance in the pegboard task and visuomotor intelligence (r = 0.35) and between contralateral associated movements and intelligence in boys (r = 0.37). We conclude that specific connections between motor and intellectual functions may exist. However, because the magnitude of correlations is generally weak, we suggest that motor and intellectual domains in healthy children are largely independent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Development / physiology*
  • Child
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence / physiology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Wechsler Scales