Erik Domellöf

Associate prof. Umeå University Social science Year of admission: 2015

How do children develop the ability to plan their movements?
Being able to control their arms and hands in a planned manner is fundamental to children’s lives, such as when they play with other children, learn to write or play sports. Wallenberg Academy Fellow Erik Domellöf will study how children’s motor planning develops and how children with disabilities can be helped to train this ability.

When you are thirsty, for example, the brain needs to conceive and organise in the right order all the necessary movements for you to be able to grasp a glass of water and drink from it. This is called motor planning.

Associate Professor Erik Domellöf at Umeå University will conduct a detailed study of how motor planning ability develops in typically developing children and in children with autism spectrum disorders. In the project, he will use advanced technology to map how children focus their gaze and how they move when they reach for an object, hold it and then perform a set task. He will compare the results with brain imagery, in order to understand how differences in the brain’s structure and function are linked to motor planning and children’s health, quality of life and behaviour.

One important objective of the project is also to investigate how motor planning can be trained in children with autism spectrum disorders. More knowledge about this is essential for these children to receive better help with everyday activities. 


Photo: Markus Marcetic