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Jeong Ah Kim, Sungwoo Park, Linda Fetters, Sandrah P. Eckel, Masayoshi Kubo, and Barbara Sargent

exploit their movements to produce an expected response from the environment. Although exploration is considered fundamental to learning, few studies have quantified infant exploratory learning. Quantifying exploration may provide critical insights into how learning emerges in early infancy and, in turn

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Rachel Bican, Linda Lowes, Lindsay Alfano, Michael McNally, Emily Durbak, Xueliang Pan, and Jill Heathcock

 al., 2000 , 2001 ; Lee et al., 2008 ; Thelen et al., 1996 ). Upper extremity movements are some of the very first motor behaviors in infancy and are considered foundational for an infant to optimally explore their environment for sensorimotor experiences that are important for the development of motor

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Nicholas Stergiou, Yawen Yu, and Anastasia Kyvelidou

Movement variability is considered essential to typical motor development. However, multiple theoretical perspectives and measurement tools have limited interpretation of the importance of movement variability in biological systems. The complementary use of linear and nonlinear measures have recently allowed for the evaluation of not only the magnitude of variability but also the temporal structure of variability. As a result, the theoretical model of optimal movement variability was introduced. The model suggests that the development of healthy and highly adaptable systems relies on the achievement of an optimal state of variability. Alternatively, abnormal development may be characterized by a narrow range of behaviors, some of which may be rigid, inflexible, and highly predictable or, on the contrary, random, unfocused, and unpredictable. In the present review, this theoretical model is described as it relates to motor development in infancy and specifically the development of sitting posture.

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Marianne Jover, Mathilde Cellier, and Celine Scola

). Movement and communication in human infancy: The social dynamics of development . Human Movement Science, 11 ( 4 ), 387 – 423 . doi:10.1016/0167-9457(92)90021-3 10.1016/0167-9457(92)90021-3 Gratier , M. , Devouche , E. , Guellai , B. , Infanti

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David I. Anderson

Joe’s work spoke to me so clearly. However, it was prophetic. After devouring Joe’s papers the following fall semester, I contacted him the subsequent spring semester and asked if I could visit his infancy lab at Berkeley to learn more about his work. Joe graciously offered to give a colloquy at SFSU

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Zhiguang Zhang, Madison Predy, Kylie D. Hesketh, Lesley Pritchard, and Valerie Carson

Movement behaviors (ie, physical activity, sedentary behavior, sleep) are crucial for healthy development in young children as early as infancy (<1 y). For instance, tummy time (or time awake in the prone position), a form of physical activity for infants who are not yet mobile, has been associated

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Kelsey Lucca, David Gire, Rachel Horton, and Jessica A. Sommerville

processes that guide infants’ trying behavior. To fully understand the nature of persistence, it is important to begin our investigations in infancy, because that is when individual differences in persistence first emerge ( Messer et al., 1986 ). By examining early persistence, researchers can begin to gain

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Mathias Hegele and Friedrike Seyfried

In this opinion paper, we aim to delineate the development of the person–object differentiation in visuomotor behavior as established during the first two years of life, which can be conceived as a precursor for the broader distinction between animate and inanimate entities, which in turn form the basis of the more inclusive biological–nonbiological distinction (Poulin-Dubois, Lepage, & Ferland, 1996). We then discuss embodied sensorimotor simulation, which allows us to use the self as a model for perceiving objects in our environment, as a potential mechanism underlying this distinction.

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Amanda J. Arnold and Laura J. Claxton

If adults are carrying an object and start to experience a loss of balance, they frequently maintain hold of that object instead of dropping it. In these loss-of-balance situations, adults tend to maintain hold of the object, instead of freeing both hands to aid in balance recovery. The current study investigated the ontogeny of this behavior by examining if infants also maintain hold of objects when experiencing a fall. Sixteen newly standing infants were video-recorded while standing and holding a toy and standing while not holding a toy. Similar to adults, when infants experienced a loss of balance, they did not drop held objects. However, maintaining hold of objects only partially interfered with the use of upper-limb protective strategies while falling. These results suggest that the tendency to maintain hold of an object while falling is present early in development and with little independent standing experience.

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Julia Dillmann, Christian-Dominik Peterlein, and Gudrun Schwarzer

It was the aim of this study to examine the motor and cognitive development of infants with congenital idiopathic clubfoot, compared with typically developing infants. We repeatedly tested the gross motor, fine motor, and cognitive abilities of 12 infants with clubfoot and 12 typically developing infants at the ages of 4, 6, 9, and 12 months with the Bayley-III Scales. All infants with clubfoot were treated with the Ponseti method, which led to a restriction of normal movements of the lower extremities in the first months of life. They showed a great delay in gross motor development but not in fine motor or cognitive development. However, in the clubfoot group, we found some slight deficits in specific cognitive tasks, including problem solving and spatial memory. In addition, our results revealed significant correlations between gross and fine motor performance and cognitive performance in the control group but only between fine motor and cognitive performance in infants with clubfoot, indicating that both, fine and gross motor skills, are related to cognitive processes and can mutually replace each other to a certain degree. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of clubfoot infants’ development and to clarify the need for mobility training.