In general, studies on children’s perceptual judgments at the roadside, have largely focused on typically developing children, and less so on children demonstrating atypical development.

In the absence of neurological or physical abnormalities, children with pronounced atypical development of motor function are classified as having Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD). We have been investigating whether the perceptual-motor difficulties seen in children with DCD extend to a range of perceptual tasks, commonly encountered at the roadside, in the absence of a motor component. What we find with the kind of tasks demonstrated below is that children with disorders such as DCD perform significantly poorer than their typically developing peers.


Click image for demo of stimulus

Here is a demonstration of one experiment, where we measure the perceptual thresholds of children with DCD to accurately detect looming vehicles in central vision (fovea) when there is additional scene motion. If looming is above threshold the vehicles that are looming should “pop-out”.

Here is a demonstration of another experiment, which shows two cars of equal size, with one always travelling faster than the other, as the speed differences get smaller the task becomes harder.

There is often a systematic bias introduced into the information you use to judge the speed of approaching vehicles and you tend to think that larger vehicles are travelling faster than smaller vehicles.


The research was supported by UK ESRC award RES-062-23-0842


Links to Related Research

London Science Museum

Road Crossing

Developmental co-ordination disorder or Dyspraxia

  Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX
Tel/Fax : +44 (0)1784 443526/434347