Presentation Title

Does Vision Contribute to Precise Skilled Hand Movements in 12-Month Old Infants

Format of Presentation

15-minute lecture to be presented the Saturday of the conference

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

24-3-2018 2:45 PM

End Date

24-3-2018 3:00 PM

Abstract

Multiple Motor Channel theory posits that prehension, the act of reaching out and grasping an object, consists of two distinct movements: the reach and the grasp. Older developmental theories held that infants learn to reach and grasp by comparing the seen position of their hand with the seen position of a target. More recent findings suggest that early reach and grasp movements are developed and refined under tactile and proprioceptive feedback, with vision facilitating their integration much later in development. What is not known is how and when the transition from somatosensory to visual guidance takes place. Recent research found that infants whose hand first contacts an underlying table surface were more likely to grasp the target with an appropriate grasping digit (thumb or forefinger). The present study is investigating the respective roles of vision and somatosensation by testing the grasping abilities of 12-month-old infants in darkness, such that they cannot see their hands. UV laser pointers illuminate the target object, and thermal infrared cameras record the reach and grasp movements. Infants perform 20 trials (reaches) under each of both light and dark conditions. Frame-by-frame video analysis is used to analyze participants' movements. A chi-squared test of independence will determine whether the correlation between making hand contact with the table surface and contacting the target with an appropriate grasping digit holds when infants cannot see their hands. The results of this study will provide new directions for investigating how contact with the underlying surface improves infants’ grasping ability.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Jenni Karl

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Mar 24th, 2:45 PM Mar 24th, 3:00 PM

Does Vision Contribute to Precise Skilled Hand Movements in 12-Month Old Infants

IB 1020

Multiple Motor Channel theory posits that prehension, the act of reaching out and grasping an object, consists of two distinct movements: the reach and the grasp. Older developmental theories held that infants learn to reach and grasp by comparing the seen position of their hand with the seen position of a target. More recent findings suggest that early reach and grasp movements are developed and refined under tactile and proprioceptive feedback, with vision facilitating their integration much later in development. What is not known is how and when the transition from somatosensory to visual guidance takes place. Recent research found that infants whose hand first contacts an underlying table surface were more likely to grasp the target with an appropriate grasping digit (thumb or forefinger). The present study is investigating the respective roles of vision and somatosensation by testing the grasping abilities of 12-month-old infants in darkness, such that they cannot see their hands. UV laser pointers illuminate the target object, and thermal infrared cameras record the reach and grasp movements. Infants perform 20 trials (reaches) under each of both light and dark conditions. Frame-by-frame video analysis is used to analyze participants' movements. A chi-squared test of independence will determine whether the correlation between making hand contact with the table surface and contacting the target with an appropriate grasping digit holds when infants cannot see their hands. The results of this study will provide new directions for investigating how contact with the underlying surface improves infants’ grasping ability.