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Locomotor Experience and Use of Social Information Are Posture Specific Karen E. Adolph, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Shaziela Ishak, Lana B. Karasik, and Sharon A. Lobo
 

Summary: Locomotor Experience and Use of Social Information Are Posture Specific
Karen E. Adolph, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Shaziela Ishak, Lana B. Karasik, and Sharon A. Lobo
New York University
The authors examined the effects of locomotor experience on infants' perceptual judgments in a
potentially risky situation--descending steep and shallow slopes--while manipulating social incentives
to determine where perceptual judgments are most malleable. Twelve-month-old experienced crawlers
and novice walkers were tested on an adjustable sloping walkway as their mothers encouraged and
discouraged descent. A psychophysical procedure was used to estimate infants' ability to crawl/walk
down slopes, followed by test trials in which mothers encouraged and discouraged infants to crawl/walk
down. Both locomotor experience and social incentives affected perceptual judgments. In the encourage
condition, crawlers only attempted safe slopes within their abilities, but walkers repeatedly attempted
impossibly risky slopes, replicating previous work. The discourage condition showed where judgments
are most malleable. When mothers provided negative social incentives, crawlers occasionally avoided
safe slopes, and walkers occasionally avoided the most extreme 50 increment, although they attempted
to walk on more than half the trials. Findings indicate that both locomotor experience and social
incentives play key roles in adaptive responding, but the benefits are specific to the posture that infants
use for balance and locomotion.
Keywords: infant locomotion, crawling, walking, social cognition, affordances
After infants begin crawling and walking, errors in judgment
can have serious consequences. How do infants judge whether an

  

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

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine