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Developmental Science DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00828.x 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and
 

Summary: Developmental Science DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00828.x
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK and
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, USA.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
PAPER
Change in action: how infants learn to walk down slopes
Simone V. Gill,1
Karen E. Adolph1
and Beatrix Vereijken2
1. Department of Psychology, New York University, USA
2. Human Movement Science Prgramme, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Abstract
A critical aspect of perception­action coupling is the ability to modify ongoing actions in accordance with variations in the
environment. Infants' ability to modify their gait patterns to walk down shallow and steep slopes was examined at three nested
time scales. Across sessions, a microgenetic training design showed rapid improvements after the first session in infants receiving
concentrated practice walking down slopes and in infants in a control group who were tested only at the beginning and end of
the study. Within sessions, analyses across easy and challenging slope angles showed that infants used a `braking strategy' to
curb increases in walking speed across increasingly steeper slopes. Within trials, comparisons of infants' gait modifications before
and after stepping over the brink of the slopes showed that the braking strategy was planned prospectively. Findings illustrate
how observing change in action provides important insights into the process of skill acquisition.

  

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

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine