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The flip side of perception-action coupling: Locomotor experience and the ontogeny of visual-postural coupling

Examined the effects of the acquisition of prone locomotion skill on developmental change in infants' ability to regulate posture based on information available in patterns of optic flow. In Exp 1, infants (aged 7.5 mo) were situated in a sitting position in a powered mobility device (PMD) whose forward locomotion was controlled by a joystick. In Exp 2, infants practiced on the PMD daily, with head direction and environmental effects observed. Results show that infants as young as age 7 mo could control forward motion in the PMD. The forward motion of the PMD provided the greatest incentive to pull on the joystick. Findings suggest that experience in the PMD may facilitate the development of postural compensation to peripheral optic flow. Preliminary results point to PMD competence furthering development of the wariness of heights. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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