Presentation Title

Contact with an Underlying Surface May Enable the Development of Precise Visually Guided Reach and Grasp Movements in Human Infants

Format of Presentation

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

Location

IB 1015

Start Date

24-3-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

24-3-2018 4:15 PM

Abstract

Multiple Motor Channel (MMC) Theory posits that the reach and the grasp originate under haptic control and only come under visual guidance later in development. However, it is currently unknown how the transition from non-visually to visually guided reaching and grasping occurs. To investigate the possible factors that enable this transition 12-month-old infants, as well as sighted and blindfolded adults, were filmed as they reached for Cheerios on either a transparent table or narrow pedestal. Frame-by-frame video analysis revealed that the reach and grasp movements of infants differed significantly from both sighted and blindfolded adults. When reaching, infants, like blindfolded adults, almost always contacted the table with an open hand before they contacted the Cheerio. After table contact, however, infants resembled sighted adults in that they used the tip of an appropriate grasping digit to establish first contact with the target. Interestingly, infants were much less likely to use the appropriate digit tip to establish first contact when the Cheerio was located atop the pedestal. These results suggest that tactile contact with the underlying tabletop plays a causal role in helping infants develop the ability to use vision to direct their grasping digits towards a precise target location.

Department

Psychology

Faculty Advisor

Jenni Karl

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Mar 24th, 4:00 PM Mar 24th, 4:15 PM

Contact with an Underlying Surface May Enable the Development of Precise Visually Guided Reach and Grasp Movements in Human Infants

IB 1015

Multiple Motor Channel (MMC) Theory posits that the reach and the grasp originate under haptic control and only come under visual guidance later in development. However, it is currently unknown how the transition from non-visually to visually guided reaching and grasping occurs. To investigate the possible factors that enable this transition 12-month-old infants, as well as sighted and blindfolded adults, were filmed as they reached for Cheerios on either a transparent table or narrow pedestal. Frame-by-frame video analysis revealed that the reach and grasp movements of infants differed significantly from both sighted and blindfolded adults. When reaching, infants, like blindfolded adults, almost always contacted the table with an open hand before they contacted the Cheerio. After table contact, however, infants resembled sighted adults in that they used the tip of an appropriate grasping digit to establish first contact with the target. Interestingly, infants were much less likely to use the appropriate digit tip to establish first contact when the Cheerio was located atop the pedestal. These results suggest that tactile contact with the underlying tabletop plays a causal role in helping infants develop the ability to use vision to direct their grasping digits towards a precise target location.