Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Manual Dexterity

  • B. Makofske
  • Elizabeth PowerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1460


Fine motor skills


Manual dexterity is the ability to make coordinated and skillful hand and finger movements to grasp and manipulate objects. Additionally, manual dexterity requires coordination between muscular, skeletal, and neurological functions, including the vision system, in order to produce small, precise movements. Development of these skills occurs over time, primarily during childhood. Developed manual dexterity requires the ability to cognitively plan and execute a task. These skills are fundamental for an individual to experience and learn about his or her environment. Manual dexterity development follows a set of developmental milestones, beginning with gross motor body movements progressing to fine motor movements. Typical manual dexterity development results in the ability to write with a pencil, stack blocks, pick up small items, cut with scissors, and other skills requiring precise movements. Difficulties with manual dexterity may be affected by a...

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References and Readings

  1. Bruni, M. (2006). Fine motor skills in children with down syndrome: A guide for parents and professionals (2nd ed.). Bethesda: Woodbine House.Google Scholar
  2. Krampe, R. T. (2002). Aging, expertise and fine motor movement. Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews, 26, 769–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lloyd, M., Macdonald, M., & Lord, C. (2013). Motor skills of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders. Autism, 17(2), 133–146.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Legal Psychology (Psychology and Law), Neuropsychology, Clinical PsychologyChicago School of Professional PsychologyChicagoUSA
  2. 2.The College of Saint RoseAlbanyUSA