Objective: Evidence from adult literature shows the involvement of cortical grey matter areas of the frontoparietal lobe and the white matter bundle, the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) in motor planning. This is yet to be confirmed in children.

Method: A multimodal study was designed to probe the neurostructural basis of childhood motor planning. Behavioural (motor planning), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) data were acquired from 19 boys aged 8–11 years. Motor planning was assessed using the one and two colour sequences of the octagon task. The MRI data were preprocessed and analysed using FreeSurfer 6.0. Cortical thickness and cortical surface area were extracted from the caudal middle frontal gyrus (MFG), superior frontal gyrus (SFG), precentral gyrus (PcG), supramarginal gyrus (SMG), superior parietal lobe (SPL) and the inferior parietal lobe (IPL) using the Desikan– Killiany atlas. The DWI data were preprocessed and analysed using ExploreDTI 4.8.6 and the white matter tract, the SLF was reconstructed.

Results: Motor planning of the two colour sequence was associated with cortical thickness of the bilateral MFG and left SFG, PcG, IPL and SPL. The right SLF was related to motor planning for the two colour sequence as well as with the left cortical thickness of the SFG.

Conclusion: Altogether, morphology within frontodorsal circuity, and the white matter bundles that support communication between them, may be associated with individual differences in childhood motor planning.


superior longitudinal fasciculus, magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion weighted imaging, end-state-comfort, frontal lobe, parietal lobe

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