The Development of Reaching in Human Infants

 

The Development of Reaching in Human Infants

Sage 4101

April 18, 2007 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

  • Abstract: Humans show remarkable improvement in their reaching movements from birth to two years-of-age. At birth, newborns are capable of target- directed swiping movements, at 4.5 to 5 months, infants are capable of reaching and touching targets in their workspace, and in the second year-of-life, infants gain the ability to make precise movements to reach and grasp small objects such as Cheerios. This course of development occurs within the context of a developing motor system and brain.
    My talk will first summarize the overall course of kinematic development of infant reaching and attempt to identify what it is that changes with development. Next, I will discuss the learning problem facing the infant and suggest a model that hopes to represent the essential mechanisms by which infant improve their reaching capabilities. There are many motor control models that learn to make reaching movements, but I will focus on models that plausibly model the process that underlies the development of infant reaching. Lastly, I will discuss the role of perceptual information in the development of reaching.
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