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Out of the Toolbox: Toddlers Differentiate Wobbly and Wooden Handrails Sarah E. Berger
 

Summary: Out of the Toolbox: Toddlers Differentiate Wobbly and Wooden Handrails
Sarah E. Berger
The City University of New York
Karen E. Adolph and Sharon A. Lobo
New York University
This study examined whether 16-month-old walking infants take the material composition of a handrail into
account when assessing its effectiveness as a tool to augment balance. Infants were encouraged to cross from one
platform to another via bridges of various widths (10, 20, 40 cm) with either a ``wobbly'' (foam or latex) or a
wooden handrail available for assistance. Infants attempted to walk over wider bridges more often than narrow
ones, and attempts were more frequent when the sturdy wooden handrail was available. Infants tailored
their exploratory behaviors, bridge-crossing strategies, and handrail-use strategies to the material properties of
the rail.
Escape From the Toolbox
What comes to mind when you hear the word
``tool''? Most people think of a handheld object like a
hammer or a screwdriverFan item found in a tool-
box or hanging from a handyman's belt. What makes
hammers, screwdrivers, and other handheld imple-
ments tools is that they function to extend bodily
capabilities. Tools make it possible to perform ac-

  

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

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine