Auditory information is beneficial for adults with Down syndrome in a continuous bimanual task

Shannon Ringenbach, Arend W A Van Gemmert, Brian K V Maraj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Much recent research using discrete unimanual tasks has indicated that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have more difficulty performing verbal-motor tasks as compared to visual-motor tasks (see Perceptual-Motor Behavior in Down Syndrome, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL, 2000, p. 305 for a review). In continuous tasks, however, individuals with DS perform better when movement is guided by auditory information compared to visual information (Downs Syndr.: Res. Prac. 4 (1996) 25; J. Sport Exercise Psy. 22 (2000) S90). The aim of the present study was to investigate if there are any differences for adults with DS between visual, auditory and verbal guidance in a continuous bimanual task. Ten adults with DS, 10 adults without DS and 10 typically developing children drew lines bimanually towards the body (down) and away from the body (up) following three different guidance conditions: visual (flashing line), auditory (high tone, low tone), and verbal ("up", "down"). All participants produced mostly in-phase movements and were close to the 1000 ms target time for all guidance conditions. The adults with DS, however, displayed greater variability in their movement time, movement amplitude and bimanual coordination than adults without DS. For all groups, the left hand was slower and more variable in producing the lateral movements than the right hand. The results regarding guidance information suggest that auditory information is beneficial for repetitive bimanual tasks for adults with DS. Possible mechanisms that cause these results will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-229
Number of pages17
JournalActa psychologica
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Bimanual coordination
  • Down syndrome
  • Drawing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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