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Oct 2 - early motor development.doc

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Physical Education and Sport
Jody Virr

Oct 2 – Early Motor Development Overview • Types of movement that occur in infancy Early Motor Behaviour Reflexive or spontaneous (clark, 1995): • reflexive • Stereotypical responses elicited by specific external stimuli • Ex. A baby closes their palm on a finger when it is placed in their hand • spontaneous • Movements not caused by known external stimuli Spontaneous behaviours • Original theory: extraneous, no purpose • Current theory: building blocks, similar to some voluntary movements Examples • Spontaneous arm movements (resemble reaching) • Spontaneous kicking (resembles adult walking) Supine Kicking • Supine kicking not random but kicks have a coordinated pattern • The ankle, knee, and hip joints moved cooperatively with each other (not independently from one another) • Coordination of these kicks resembles the positioning and timing of an adult walking step • Supine kicks aren’t identical to walking • Timing is more variable from kick to kick • Joints move in unison rather than in sequence • Cocontraction: activation of both muscles for flexing the limb (flexors) and for extending the limb (extensors) Steps for Flexion 1.) From extended position flexion begins 2.) Hip and knee flexing, ankle dorsiflexing 3.) Hip, knee, and ankle fully flexed; pause With spontaneous movements, even though the infant is weak, spontaneous movement can still be produced. Extension • Extension begins with knee extension • Hip and knee extending, ankle plantarflexing (toe pointing) • End of extension phase; between-kick interval Spontaneous movements • Newborns may be weak and unable to produce intentional, precise, goal- directed movements • But newborns exhibit underlying rhythmic coordination within limbs or pairs of limbs • These are fundamental building blocks leading us to actually move Reflexes • Reflexive movements occur quickly after onset of stimuli ( involuntary movements that an individual makes in response to specific stimuli) • They involve single muscle or specific group of muscles (not whole body) • They cannot be extinguished at any one time • If a reflex of an infant stays for a prolonged period of time, there may be neurological problems occurring • We don't have to think about reflexes, they just happen Infantile Reflex – 3 types :primitive, locomotor, postural • involuntary • Stereotypical movement response to a specific stimuli; • Responses seen only during infancy • Some infant reflexes that occur right after birth are the sucking reflex and can turn their head Primitive Reflex • An involuntary response to specific stimulation which is often mediated by lower brain centers • Newborns exhibit strong reflexes at birth • Lose strength over time • Disappearing around the fourth month (if they stay around after the 4 th month, there could be a neurological issue) Spontaneous vs. Primitive Reflex • Primitive is an External stimuli • (primitive) Specific and often localized vs nonspecific and generalized(spontaneous) • The same stimulus will elicit a specific reflex over and over again Asymmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex • Infant starts in supine position • Stimulus: turn head to one side • Response: same side arm and leg extend Grasp and STNR Palmar Grasp Reflex • Stimulus: touch palm with finger or object • Response: hand closes tightly around finger or object • Appears pre natally up to 4 months Symmetrical Tonic Neck Reflex • Infant starts in supported sitting position • Stimulus: extend head and neck or flex head and neck • Response: arms extend and legs flex, or arms flex and legs extend • Appears at 6-7 months Moro Reflex • Infant starts in supine position • Stimulus: shake head (ex. By tapping pillow) • Response: arms, legs, and fingers extend; then arms and legs flex • Appears prenatally up to 3 months
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