Sequence memory skills in Spastic Bilateral Cerebral Palsy are age independent as in normally developing children

Chiara Gagliardi, Alessandro Tavano, Anna Carla Turconi, Renato Borgatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To study the development of sequence memory skills in a group of participants with Spastic Bilateral Cerebral Palsy (CP) and their matched controls (TD). Sequence memory skills are defined as a blend of implicit and explicit competences that are crucial for the acquisition and consolidation of most adaptive skills along the lifespan. Method: A computerized sequence learning task was administered to 51 participants with CP (age range: 4.1-14.7) and their controls. General performance, accuracy and learning strategy were analyzed, as well as cognitive competencies (IQ and explicit visual spatial memory). Results: Explicit learning developed along with age in all participants. Sequence learning skills were age independent and unevenly distributed among CP participants: most TD (96.1%) and only about half (58.8%) of CP participants succeeded in sequence learning, in dynamic relation with cognitive and manipulation abilities. Conclusion: Sequence memory skills should be verified to plan therapeutic strategies. Therapeutic plans based on implicit learning (more resistant to disruption and stress) could be effective and highly advantageous for most but not for all CP children. Independently from age, many CP children could fix sequences more efficiently by explicit strategies, a more effortful but probably more effective way.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Cerebral palsy
  • Development
  • Sequence learning
  • Spatial memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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