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Bridging the Gap: Solving Spatial MeansEnds Relations in a Locomotor Task

Summary: Bridging the Gap: Solving Spatial Means­Ends Relations in a
Locomotor Task
Sarah E. Berger
The College of Staten Island and
the Graduate Center of the
City University of New York
Karen E. Adolph and
Alisan E. Kavookjian
New York University
Using a means­means­ends problem-solving task, this study examined whether 16-month-old walking
infants (N = 28) took into account the width of a bridge as a means for crossing a precipice and the location
of a handrail as a means for augmenting balance on a narrow bridge. Infants were encouraged to cross from
one platform to another over narrow and wide bridges located at various distances from a wooden handrail.
Infants attempted to walk over the wide bridge more often than the narrow one and when the handrail was
within reach. Infants demonstrated parallel problem solving by modifying exploratory behaviors and bridge-
crossing strategies that simultaneously accounted for the spatial and functional relations between body and
bridge, body and handrail, and bridge and handrail.
Means­ends problem solving is an important cogni-
tive and motor achievement. It requires coordinat-
ing environmental supports with relevant body


Source: Adolph, Karen - Center for Neural Science & Department of Psychology, New York University


Collections: Biology and Medicine