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ERIC Number: EJ1143837
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1467-7687
Specialization of the Motor System in Infancy: From Broad Tuning to Selectively Specialized Purposeful Actions
D'Souza, Hana; Cowie, Dorothy; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Bremner, Andrew J.
Developmental Science, v20 n4 Jul 2017
In executing purposeful actions, adults select sufficient and necessary limbs. But infants often move goal-irrelevant limbs, suggesting a developmental process of motor specialization. Two experiments with 9- and 12-month-olds revealed gradual decreases in extraneous movements in non-acting limbs during unimanual actions. In Experiment 1, 9-month-olds produced more extraneous movements in the non-acting hand/arm and feet/legs than 12-month-olds. In Experiment 2, analysis of the spatiotemporal dynamics of infants' movements revealed developmental declines in the spatiotemporal coupling of movements between acting and non-acting arms. We also showed that the degree of specialization in infants' unimanual actions is associated with individual differences in motor experience and visual attention, indicating the experience-dependent and broad functional nature of these developmental changes. Our study provides important new insights into motor development: as in cognitive domains, motor behaviours are initially broadly tuned to their goal, becoming progressively specialized during the first year of life.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A