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Lecture

Lecture notes

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY100H1
Professor
Mark Schmuckler
Semester
Fall

Description
 Gives general ages at which the motor skills come into play (chart based on age in months)  We continue to learn motor skills throughout our lives o Riding bikes, playing musical instruments  We continue to learn motor skills throughout our lives  Development of reaching, development of walking o Reaching  a prominent development within the first year of life  Not a single unitary skill  Relies on a number of different components  We have to have a variety of perceptual skills  Object perception (recognizing objects, depth perception)  (see perceptual development)  Motor skills  We have to have the strength to lift arms and accurately move our arms to reach  We have to coordinate movement of our arms and close our fists  Visual-motor skills  We have to be able to time our motor skills, integrating visual and motor skills o Reaching when the object is MOVING  We have to be able to anticipate where a moving object is going to be before we can reach and grab  A more complicated task that requires sophisticated visual-motor skills  These skills are developed very early in life  What is the nature of this development? o Tom Bower suggested that if you put an infant in a suitable position (posture) newborn infants will be able to reach out and grab things  But this is hard to replicated – only a proposal that was made  A fascinating discovery o Von Hosten  Looked at the nature of how babies move their hands and arms  Compared motions when there was presence of an object versus when there wasn’t an object, just to make sure the infant was reaching for a reason  Noticed that when there was an object present, infants did make more arm movements o Even more movements when the infant was LOOKING at the object  Noticed that newborns don’t really reach  See the “normative sequence of reaching”  1-2 months  Infants glance at objects when present  Will fixate objects for 5-10 seconds  Show more arm movements, but not coordinated with vision  Grasping reflex (wrapping hand around something) o It does not seem intentional  2-3 months  It does seem like children focus objects, they follow it with their eyes  Beginning of prehensory behaviour o Get their arms out there and make a swipe at the object with their hands o May make eye contact with object but haven’t mastered grasping o Raise hand toward object  3-4 months  Mutual grasping  Front – two hands used to grab  If something’s at the side – it’ll use one hand  4-5 months  Timing has gotten good when there is a moving object  “top-level” reaching  Reasonably good grasping of objects  Reaching for a moving object o Experiment (see slide 5 on “Motor Development”) o Experimenter had an object moving in three speeds: slow, medium, fast, to see how many times an infant of several age-ranges reach out and try to reach the object  When there is a slow moving object, infants are more likely to reach out and grab them  Infants are more likely to grab objects when they move slow  But they are not necessarily always successful to grasp the object  See slide 6  The older an infant is, the more they are able to grasp an object  Early in life, infants are able to touch an object but are not able to grasp it  Infants don’t really miss when trying to grasp or touch a moving object  At about 18 weeks of age, an infant’s ability to grasp an object increases dramatically  Infants are JUST AS successful reaching a moving object as they are reaching for a stationary object o If they can grasp a stationary object, they can grasp a moving object; it isn’t any harder  Visually-guided is based on notion that reaching involves visually guiding arm out there to reach for object o This is an assumption o No one has actually looked at whether reaching is visually guided o They did a simple study with infants of 6-25 weeks (longitudinal study)  2 conditions; show object in light and dark  In light, infants can see their hands  In the dark, infants CAN’T see their hands  So the question is whether infants are able to reach an object without being able to see their hands  Flaw: perhaps infants are more likely to reach in the light because they can see better  Only tested for touching or grasping; misses were ignored here  See slide 7; above the x-axis is when infant is reaching in the light, below it is reaching in the dark  Dar
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