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Developmental continuity? Crawling, cruising, and walking Karen E. Adolph,1

Summary: PAPER
Developmental continuity? Crawling, cruising, and walking
Karen E. Adolph,1
Sarah E. Berger2
and Andrew J. Leo1
1.Department of Psychology, New York University, USA
2.Department of Psychology, College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center of the City University of
New York, USA
This research examined developmental continuity between `cruising' (moving sideways holding onto furniture for support) and
walking. Because cruising and walking involve locomotion in an upright posture, researchers have assumed that cruising is
functionally related to walking. Study 1 showed that most infants crawl and cruise concurrently prior to walking, amassing
several weeks of experience with both skills. Study 2 showed that cruising infants perceive affordances for locomotion over an
adjustable gap in a handrail used for manual support, but despite weeks of cruising experience, cruisers are largely oblivious to
the dangers of gaps in the floor beneath their feet. Study 3 replicated the floor-gap findings for infants taking their first
independent walking steps, and showed that new walkers also misperceive affordances for locomoting between gaps in a handrail.
The findings suggest that weeks of cruising do not teach infants a basic fact about walking: the necessity of a floor to support the
body. Moreover, this research demonstrated that developmental milestones that are temporally contiguous and structurally
similar might have important functional discontinuities.


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


Collections: Biology and Medicine