The Embodied Origins of Infant Reaching: Implications for the Emergence of Eye-Hand Coordination

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This article reviews the literature on infant reaching, from past to present, to recount how our understanding of the emergence and development of this early goal-directed behavior has changed over the decades. We show that the still widely-accepted view, which considers the emergence and development of infant reaching as occurring primarily under the control of vision, is no longer sustainable. Increasing evidence suggests that the developmental origins of infant reaching is embodied. We discuss the implications of this alternative view for the development of eye-hand coordination and we propose a new scenario stressing the importance of the infant body-centered sensorimotor experiences in the months prior to the emergence of reaching as a possible critical step for the formation of eye-hand coordination.

Corbetta and Wiener are with the Department of Psychology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Thurman is with the Department of Psychology, Elon University, Elon, NC. McMahon is with the Section on Neurocircuitry, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, NIMH/NIH, Bethesda, MD.

Address author correspondence to Daniela Corbetta at dcorbett@utk.edu.
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