Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

The neuropsychological effects of motor development mediated by technologies in disabled subjects

Federica Doronzo, Piergiorgio Guarini



Background: the sector of motor development mediated by technologies in disabled subjects is growing. It is becoming popular as subject of interdisciplinary studies in engineering, neuroscientific, psychological and pedagogical fields. Nevertheless, only in the last few years scientific studies in motor development mediated by technologies in disabled subjects are analysing and studying the neuropsychological effects of such practices as well. Objective: the purpose of this work is the analysis of the scientific literature about the effects of the employment of technologies in motor abilitation/rehabilitation in disabled subjects. It will identify and track the research paths that scientific studies are following. The identification will be based on the scientific production of the last decade. The target includes adults and children. Material and methods: this work started researching combined words among the concepts of motor development, technology, disability and effects in electronic databases. In order to be considered valuable, the studies must have the purpose to measure the motivational, emotional and/or cognitive effects associated with motor development. Scientific papers which don’t focus mainly on psychological implication were excluded from this review. Results: this work observes that international scientific literature strongly focused on 4 macro-categories, related to the technology used: 1) assistive robots, 2) brain-computer interface (BCI); 3) augmented or virtual reality; (3) technology-aided support tools and interactive apps. These tools produce a recovery or improvement in different fields: motor, social, cognitive, emotional and motivational. Conclusions: the research about motor development mediated by technologies in disabled subjects has a wide reach in the recovery of neuromotor deficit and in the acquisition or improvement of neuropsychological competences. The effects can generate relapses not only in the field of neuro-motricity but also in educational and mental health field.


Motor development; Disability; Emotion; Cognition; Motivation; Technology


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