D'Souza, H. and Cowie, D. and Karmiloff-Smith, A. and Bremner, A. (2016) 'Specialization of the motor system in infancy : from broad tuning to selectively specialized purposeful actions.', Developmental science., 20 (4). e12409.
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.
|Full text:||(AM) Accepted Manuscript|
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12409|
|Publisher statement:||This is the accepted version of the following article: D'Souza, H., Cowie, D., Karmiloff-Smith, A. and Bremner, A. J. (2016), Specialization of the motor system in infancy: from broad tuning to selectively specialized purposeful actions. Developmental Science, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12409. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.|
|Date accepted:||04 January 2016|
|Date deposited:||15 June 2016|
|Date of first online publication:||02 June 2016|
|Date first made open access:||02 June 2017|
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