Neurophysiological Approaches to Understanding Motor Control in DCD: Current Trends and Future Directions

  • Christian HydeEmail author
  • Ian Fuelscher
  • Jacqueline Williams
Motor Disorders (P Wilson, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Motor Disorders


Purpose of Review

To provide an account of neurophysiological approaches to understanding motor control in DCD, with a specific focus on emerging techniques such as non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) and fNIRS. We also provide an update on evidence from more traditional neurophysiological approaches to understanding atypical motor skills such as EEG.

Recent Findings

With reference to NIBS data from DCD and congenital motor disorders, we present evidence that compromised excitatory and inhibitory neurophysiology within motor circuitry may provide a biomarker for atypical motor development. Further, we draw parallels between work reviewed here and neuroimaging evidence reviewed elsewhere, highlighting converging lines of evidence implicating motor and executive systems in DCD.


Neurophysiological approaches to understanding DCD have the potential to play an important role in clarifying its underlying mechanisms. Given promising findings emerging from other pediatric motor disorders, we argue that continued work into the viability of NIBS in diagnosis and treatment of DCD is warranted.


Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) Electroencephalogram (EEG) 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Hyde
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ian Fuelscher
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Cognitive Neuroscience Unit, School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Health and Sport, College of Sport and Exercise ScienceVictoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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