OBJECTIVE. I investigated developmental and ability differences on a visual–motor task that requires inhibition of misleading information.

METHOD. Children, including those with and without learning disabilities, and adults copied simple line or dot figures inside a tilted frame with instructions to make the figures straight. Two response methods were used: drawing (motor) and placement of bars or washers (motor reduced).

RESULTS. All participants were influenced by the misleading frame, making figures that deviated from true vertical in both motor and motor-reduced formats. Adults were less influenced than children, and children with learning disabilities were more influenced than their peers. Production of more complex figures resulted in increased influence of the misleading frame.

CONCLUSION. The ability to inhibit misleading contextual information and find an appropriate frame of reference may be an important developmental process in visual–motor skill development. Implications for assessment and task analysis are discussed.

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