Is auditory perceptual timing a core deficit of developmental coordination disorder?

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2018 May 9;1423(1):30-39. doi: 10.1111/nyas.13701. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Time is an essential dimension for perceiving and processing auditory events, and for planning and producing motor behaviors. Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 5-6% of children that is characterized by deficits in motor skills. Studies show that children with DCD have motor timing and sensorimotor timing deficits. We suggest that auditory perceptual timing deficits may also be core characteristics of DCD. This idea is consistent with evidence from several domains, (1) motor-related brain regions are often involved in auditory timing process; (2) DCD has high comorbidity with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity, which are known to be associated with auditory timing deficits; (3) a few studies report deficits in auditory-motor timing among children with DCD; and (4) our preliminary behavioral and neuroimaging results show that children with DCD at age 6 and 7 have deficits in auditory time discrimination compared to typically developing children. We propose directions for investigating auditory perceptual timing processing in DCD that use various behavioral and neuroimaging approaches. From a clinical perspective, research findings can potentially benefit our understanding of the etiology of DCD, identify early biomarkers of DCD, and can be used to develop evidence-based interventions for DCD involving auditory-motor training.

Keywords: auditory-motor interaction; child development; developmental coordination disorder (DCD); motor deficit; time perception.