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Learning and Development in Infant Locomotion Sarah E. Berger1

Summary: Learning and Development in Infant Locomotion
Sarah E. Berger1
, Karen E. Adolph2
College of Staten Island, Graduate Center of the City University of New York
New York University
The traditional study of infant locomotion focuses on what movements look like at various points in development, and
how infants acquire sufficient strength and balance to move. We describe a new view of locomotor development that
focuses on infants' ability to adapt their locomotor decisions to variations in the environment and changes in their bodily
propensities. In the first section of the chapter, we argue that perception of affordances lies at the heart of adaptive
locomotion. Perceiving affordances for balance and locomotion allows infants to select and modify their ongoing
movements appropriately. In the second section, we describe alternative solutions that infants devise for coping with
challenging locomotor situations, and various ways that new strategies enter their repertoire of behaviors. In the third
section, we document the reciprocal developmental relationship between adaptive locomotion and cognition. Limits and
advances in means-ends problem solving and cognitive capacity affect infants' ability to navigate a cluttered
environment, while locomotor development offers infants new opportunities for learning.
Key Words: Infant, Locomotion, Affordance, Perception-Action, Crawling, Walking, Means-Ends Problem Solving
How Infants Move
Traditional View


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


Collections: Biology and Medicine