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The onset of locomotion heralds one of the major life transitions in early development and involves a pervasive set of changes in perception, spatial cognition, and social and emotional development. Through a synthesis of published and hitherto unpublished findings, gathered from a number of converging research designs and methods, this article provides a comprehensive review and reanalysis of the consequences of self-produced locomotor experience. Specifically, the authors focus on the role of locomotor experience in changes in social and emotional development, referential gestural communication, wariness of heights, the perception of self-motion, distance perception, spatial search, and spatial coding strategies. Analysis reveals new insights into the specific processes by which locomotor experience brings about psychological changes. The authors elaborate these processes and provide new predictions about previously unsuspected links between locomotor experience and psychological function. The authors conclude that, in infancy, the onset of locomotor experience brings about widespread consequences, and after infancy, can be responsible for an enduring role in development by maintaining and updating existing skills. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2005 APA, all rights reserved)



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