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Public Health and Sport Sciences

How does sensorimotor control differ in autistic people?

We are using VR (virtual reality) to investigate how movement is controlled by autistic people, a population who often experience difficulties in motor coordination and learning. Through using our VR technology and expertise, we can both control and systematically manipulate environmental conditions within the task, allowing us to isolate precise sensorimotor mechanisms linked with movement.

A person wearing a VR headset

Currently, Dr Tom Arthur is examining these processes using a virtual racquetball task (see video on this page), by measuring how participants adjust their hand and eye movements under different environmental conditions.

Our findings will help us better understand the aetiology of sensorimotor difficulties in autism, so that future coaching and management strategies can be developed.



This study is being conducted in collaboration with the Centre of Applied Autism Research (University of Bath) and is developing from Tom’s PhD, which was funded through the South West Doctoral Training Partnership (in affiliation with the Economic and Social Research Council)


For more information on this project, please contact Dr Tom Arthur.