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This paper summarizes a keynote presentation the author gave in 2017 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) focused on the decade of research in motor development between 2007 and 2017. It was organized around an agenda for the future proposed by Thelen in the year 2000, which included 6 themes: multimodal perception and action, formal models and robotics, embodied cognition, neural bases of motor skill development, learning and plasticity, and cultural and individual differences. The author also covers an impactful area of research on the links between motor competence and physical activity and health-related fitness. Important discoveries between 2007 and 2017 have reinforced the idea that motor development makes a fundamental contribution to virtually every domain of development.
The author is the director of the Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth and Families, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA.