Recent insights, including systematic reviews, suggest that children with Developmental Coordination Disorder have an underlying neurocognitive deficit that is termed the internal model deficit. This deficit encapsulates both motor planning and predictive control. Two promising new techniques to stimulate damaged networks in the brain that can be used to train the internal model are Motor Imagery (MI; internal rehearsal of a future motor action without overt motor output) and Action Observation (AO; observation of the action performed by someone else). MI and AO play a role in learning and re-learning complex motor tasks and share common neurophysiological networks with internal modelling. Training of motor skills via MI and AO intervention has been successful in adults with stroke and Parkinson’s disease. In children with congenital motor disorders, what little attention these interventions have received has been promising, suggesting new avenues for stimulating the networks involved in motor learning.
I will present evidence and to support the internal model deficit and map out avenues for new intervention programs using MI and AO.