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Movement is how we explore our environment—an array of motor behaviors and a degree of skillfulness are required for individuals to move, function, and survive. Metaphorically speaking, Janus, the ancient Roman god, has two faces, one facing into the past and one to the future. Before engaging in future scientific endeavors, researchers should reflect on the historical work in their field to help shape future inquiry. As we continue into the 21st century, motor development research must continue its commitment to conduct translational research in practice while engaging in impactful interdisciplinary research. Areas that warrant future exploration include (a) addressing the motoric needs of special populations; (b) understanding what occurs in the brain during movement—brain–behavior interaction; (c) discovering how our environment affects motor behaviors—gene–environment interaction; (d) exploring the effect of movement across the life span and on various aspects of health—developmental health outcomes; and (e) being cognizant of research design and measurements. Many questions remain to be answered, but motor development is a field with a bright future that awaits discovery.
The author is with the School of Kinesiology and the Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.