The Open UniversitySkip to content

Visual perception, visual-spatial cognition and mathematics: Associations and predictions in children with cerebral palsy

Critten, Valerie; Campbell, Emma; Farran, Emily and Messer, David (2018). Visual perception, visual-spatial cognition and mathematics: Associations and predictions in children with cerebral palsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 80 pp. 180–191.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (468kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Background: Previous research suggests that children with cerebral palsy (CP) have impairments in visual-spatial and mathematics abilities, although we know very little about the association between these two domains.

Aims: To investigate the extent of visual-spatial and mathematical impairments in children with CP and the associations between these two domains.

Method and Procedure: Thirty-two children with predominantly quadriplegic spastic and/or athetoid (dyskinetic) CP (13 years 7 months) and a group of typically developing (TD) children (8 years 6 months) matched by receptive vocabulary were given a battery of visual-spatial and mathematics tasks. Visual-spatial assessments ranged from simple tests of perception to complex reasoning about these stimuli. A standardised test of mathematics ability was administered to both groups.

Outcomes and Results: The children with CP had significantly poorer mathematical and visual-spatial abilities than the TD group. For the TD group age was the best predictor of mathematical ability, in the CP group receptive vocabulary and visual perception abilities were the best predictors of mathematical ability.

Conclusion and Implications: The CP group had extensive difficulties with visual perception; visual short-term memory; visual reasoning; and mental rotation all of which were associated with their mathematical abilities. These findings have implications for the teaching of visual perception and visual memory skills in young children with CP as these may help the development of mathematical abilities.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2018 The Authors
ISSN: 0891-4222
Keywords: cerebral palsy; visual-spatial perception; mathematical abilities; visual reasoning; mental rotation; visual memory
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 56036
Depositing User: David Messer
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2018 10:17
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 03:23
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU