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Development of the Coordination between Posture and Manual Control
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (2012)
  • Jeffrey M. Haddad, Purdue University
  • Laura J. Claxton, Purdue University
  • Rachel Keen
  • Neil Berthier, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Gary E. Riccio, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Joseph Hamill, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • Richard E.A. Van Emmerik, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
Studies have suggested that proper postural control is essential for the development of reaching. However, little research has examined the development of the coordination between posture and manual control throughout childhood. We investigated the coordination between posture and manual control in 7- and 10- year-old children, and adults during a precision fitting task as task constraints became more difficult. Participants fit a block through an opening as arm kinematics, trunk kinematics and center of pressure data were collected. During the fitting task the precision, postural and visual constraints of the task were manipulated. Young children adopted a strategy where they first move their trunk towards the opening and then stabilize their trunk (freeze degrees of freedom) as the precision manual task is being performed. In contrast, adults and older children make compensatory trunk movements as the task is being performed. 10-year-old children were similar to adults under the less constrained task conditions, but resembled the 7-year-old children under the more challenging tasks. The ability to either suppress or allow postural fluctuations based on the constraints of a supra-postural task begins to develop at about ten-years-of-age. This ability, once developed, allows children to learn specific segmental movements required to complete a task within an environmental context.
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Jeffrey M. Haddad, Laura J. Claxton, Rachel Keen, Neil Berthier, et al.. "Development of the Coordination between Posture and Manual Control" Journal of Experimental Child Psychology Vol. 111 Iss. 2 (2012)
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