Send to

Choose Destination
Cereb Cortex. 2017 Jan 1;27(1):322-329. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhw415.

Fine Motor Skill Mediates Visual Memory Ability with Microstructural Neuro-correlates in Cerebellar Peduncles in Prematurely Born Adolescents.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Adolescents born preterm (PT) with no evidence of neonatal brain injury are at risk of deficits in visual memory and fine motor skills that diminish academic performance. The association between these deficits and white matter microstructure is relatively unexplored. We studied 190 PTs with no brain injury and 92 term controls at age 16 years. The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF), the Beery visual-motor integration (VMI), and the Grooved Pegboard Test (GPT) were collected for all participants, while a subset (40 PTs and 40 terms) underwent diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. PTs performed more poorly than terms on ROCF, VMI, and GPT (all P < 0.01). Mediation analysis showed fine motor skill (GPT score) significantly mediates group difference in ROCF and VMI (all P < 0.001). PTs showed a negative correlation (P < 0.05, corrected) between fractional anisotropy (FA) in the bilateral middle cerebellar peduncles and GPT score, with higher FA correlating to lower (faster task completion) GPT scores, and between FA in the right superior cerebellar peduncle and ROCF scores. PTs also had a positive correlation (P < 0.05, corrected) between VMI and left middle cerebellar peduncle FA. Novel strategies to target fine motor skills and the cerebellum may help PTs reach their full academic potential.


cerebellum white matter; diffusion tensor imaging; mediator model; preterm; visual-motor integration

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center