Document Type : Research Paper


1 . Assistant Professor, Department of Motor Learning and Control, Sport Science Research Institute, Tehran, Iran

2 Graduate in Motor Development, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran


The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of perceptual motor training and cognitive games on cognitive development in mentally retarded children. In this experimental study, 45 mentally retarded children aged between 8 and 12 in Kermanshah province were randomly divided into 3 groups: perceptual motor training, cognitive training and control. The perceptual motor program included the protocol of Salari et al. (2014) and Kashi et al. (2015) and cognitive games included a collection of cognitive games of my brain that was run as software. The groups participated in the program for 8 weeks, 2 sessions per week and 45 minutes per session. Before and after the training, they participated in London Tower computer test and the Stroop color-word test as pretest and posttest. Data were analyzed with Mancova and Ancova tests.The findings of the study showed a significant difference among perceptual motor training, cognitive games and control in London Tower computer test and Stroop color-word test. Perceptual motor training had a greater effect on the improvement of cognitive functions in mentally retarded children than cognitive games. Therefore, it can be concluded that although both types of games play an effective role in improving cognitive development and can be used to improve children's well-being, perceptual motor training is a better tool to create more development effects than cognitive training.


  1. Soleimani FM. Down syndrome, New Methods in Care and Treatment. 2nd ed. Publications of the University of Social Welfare and rehabilitation; 2010.
  2. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Pub; 2013.
  3. Ross SM, Case L, Leung W. Aligning physical activity measures with the international classification of functioning, disability and health framework for childhood disability. Quest. 2016; 68(4):521-35.
  4. Phillips AC, Holland AJ. Assessment of objectively measured physical activity levels in individuals with intellectual disabilities with and without Down's syndrome. PloS one. 2011; 6(12):e28618.
  5. Murphy KP. Pediatric rehabilitation: principles and practice: Demos Medical Publishing; 2015.
  6. Klavina A, Ostrovska K, Campa M. Fundamental movement skill and physical fitness measures in children with disabilities. European Journal of Adapted Physical Activity. 2017; 10(1).
  7. Kim HI, Kim SW, Kim J, Jeon HR, Jung DW. Motor and cognitive developmental profiles in children with Down syndrome. Annals of rehabilitation medicine. 2017; 41(1):97.
  8. Malak R, Kotwicka M, Krawczyk-Wasielewska A, Mojs E, Szamborski W. Motor skills, cognitive development and balance functions of children with Down syndrome. Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine. 2013; 20(4).
  9. Edgin JO. Cognition in Down syndrome: a developmental cognitive neuroscience perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science. 2013; 4(3):307-17.
  10. Piri S, Piraki P. The Effect of Rhythmic Games on the Perceptual–Motor Growth of Educable Mentally Retarded Students (Boys and Girls). 2014.
  11. Valian BS, Dolatabadi Sh. [Investigating the Effect of Using Lousse Therapy on Reducing the Cognitive Problems of 7-12 Year-Old Mentally Disabled Boys in Welfare Centers in District 4 of Tehran (in Persian)]. Exceptional Education Journal. 2010; 1(2): 100-105.
  12. Goldshtrom Y, Korman D, Goldshtrom I, Bendavid J. The effect of rhythmic exercises on cognition and behavior of maltreated children: A pilot study. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies. 2011; 15(3):326-34.
  13. Ghobari Bonab BK, Abbas Ali H.­ Psychology and education of children with mental Disability. 1nd ed. Tehran: Dangeh Publishing; 2009. (in Persian)
  14. Gholami A. Psychology and rehabilitation of mentally disabled children. Tehran. University of Tehran publication; 2009. (in Persian)
  15. Sharifi D. Psychology of Exceptional Children of Tehran. Psychoanalysis publication; 2005. (in Persian)
  16. Sidey A. Whaley and Wong's Nursing Care of Infants and Children. Nursing Standard. 1999; 14(3):26.
  17. Salehi R. Basic education Application of screening methods and development of molecular genetic laboratories with effective steps to prevent further mental disability. First scientific congress of mental disability; 1997. (in Persian)
  18. Mojtahedi S, Kordi M, Soleimani M, Hosseini S E. Effect of Different Intensities of Short Term Aerobic Exercise on Expression of miR-124 in the Hippocampus of Adult Male Rats. ZJRMS. 2012; 14 (2):16-20.
  19. Krichevsky AM, Sonntag KC, Isacson O, Kosik KS. Specific microRNAs modulate embryonic stem cell–derived neurogenesis. Stem cells. 2006; 24(4):857-64.
  20. Van Praag H, Kempermann G, Gage FH. Running increases cell proliferation and neurogenesis in the adult mouse dentate gyros. Nature neuroscience. 1999; 2(3):266.
  21. Farmer J, Zhao XV, Van Praag H, Wodtke K, Gage FH, Christie BR. Effects of voluntary exercise on synaptic plasticity and gene expression in the dentate gyros of adult male Sprague–Dawley rats in vivo. Neuroscience. 2004; 124(1):71-9.
  22. Neeper SA, Gómez-Pinilla F, Choi J, Cotman CW. Physical activity increases mRNA for brain-derived neurotropic factor and nerve growth factor in rat brain. Brain research. 1996; 726(1-2):49-56.
  23. Hillman CH, Erickson KI, Kramer AF. Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nature reviews neuroscience. 2008; 9(1):58.
  24. Casden DR. The effects of Ashtanga yoga on autonomic, respiratory and cognitive functioning; psychological symptoms and somatic complaints: A controlled study. 2005: 1164-1184.
  25. Budde H, Voelcker-Rehage C, Pietraßyk-Kendziorra S, Ribeiro P, Tidow G. Acute coordinative exercise improves attentional performance in adolescents. Neuroscience letters. 2008; 441(2):219-23.
  26. Lambourne K, Tomporowski P. The effect of exercise-induced arousal on cognitive task performance: a meta-regression analysis. Brain research. 2010; 1341:12-24.
  27. Pesce C, Crova C, Cereatti L, Casella R, Bellucci M. Physical activity and mental performance in preadolescents: Effects of acute exercise on free-recall memory. Mental Health and Physical Activity. 2009; 2(1):16-22.
  28. Johnson MH. The development of visual attention: A cognitive neuroscience perspective. Brain development and cognition: A reader. 2002:134-50.
  29. Field T, Diego M, Sanders CE. Exercise is positively related to adolescents ‘relationships and academics. Adolescence. 2001; 36(141):105-115.
  30. Salman MN, Ameri E, Aghapour SM. [The Effects of perceptual-motor training to improve motor function in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder in Primary schools in Tehran (in Persian)]. Journal of Learning and development of movement – physical. 2009; 5(2): 48-59.
  31. Najafabadi A. [the effect of game playing on cognitive, social and motor growth on students with less mental ability (in Persian)]. Journal of Tabriz university of medical science and health and therapy services.
  32. Gharaee N. Effectiveness of game therapy on improving social skills of pre school children with Down syndrome. Applied psychology. 2013; 2(3): 40-25.
  33. Sharif MR, Hemayattalab R, Sayyah M, Hemayattalab A, Bazazan S. Effects of physical and mental practice on motor learning in individuals with cerebral palsy. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. 2015; 27(4):479-87.
  34. Ghorbanzadeh B. Effect of perceptual-motor practices on executive function in children with intellectual disability. Middle Eastern Journal of Disability Studies. 2015; 5:6-13.
  35. Salari MZ. [The effect of 12 weeks perceptual motor training on statics and dynamic balance of 11-14 years old intellectual disability children (in Persian)]. physical education department of Tehran University. 2014.
  36. Kashi A, Sheikh M, Dadkhah A, Hemayat R, Arab AE. The effect of selected exercise training on reducing symptom of muscular hypotonic and changing body composition in men with down syndrome. 2015:269-294.
  37. Sanse A. [The effect of physical activity and game on development of mental abilities of preschool girls (in Persian)]. Quarterly Journal of Family and Research, 2008; 7(26): 87-106.
  38. Mehrdad H. [The impact of play therapy on academic achievement of children with mental deficiency of Khorramabad exceptional elementary schools in academic year 1388-89. (in Persian)]. Journal of Psychology of Exceptional Individuals. 2011; 1(2):119-44.
  39. Lawson JE, Cruz RA, Knollman GA. Increasing positive attitudes toward individuals with disabilities through community service learning. Research in developmental disabilities. 2017; 69:1-7.
  40. Collins K, Staples K. The role of physical activity in improving physical fitness in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Research in developmental disabilities. 2017; 69:49-60.
  41. Rezaiyan A, Mohammadi E, Fallah PA. Effect of computer game intervention on the attention capacity of mentally retarded children. International journal of nursing practice. 2007; 13(5):284-8.
  42. Jordan NC, Glutting J, Ramineni C. The importance of number sense to mathematics achievement in first and third grades. Learning and individual differences. 2010; 20(2):82-8.
  43. Dodange M. [Evaluating and comparing the effect of selected rhythmic practices and selected yoga exercises on the short-term memory and memory of children with mental retardation. (in Persian)]. [Msc] Al-Zahra University of Tehran. 2012.
  44. Mahar MT. Impact of short bouts of physical activity on attention-to-task in elementary school children. Preventive medicine. 2011; 52:S60-4.
  45. Tomporowski PD, Lambourne K, Okumura MS. Physical activity interventions and children's mental function: an introduction and overview. Preventive medicine. 2011; 52:S3-9.