Potential postural constraints on the development of lateralized hand-use in infancy

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Iryna Babik (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
George Michel

Abstract: Lateralized hand-use is an easily observable sensorimotor skill that can be used as a model for the exploration of the development of differential functioning between the two cerebral hemispheres, or hemispheric lateralization. However, it has been argued that handedness is not a stable trait, and it cannot be reliably identified until 6 years of age or later. Many studies of infants report variability as the prominent characteristic of infant manual asymmetries. However, other studies have reported significantly consistent hand-use preferences for infants. Perhaps, the hand-use preferences in infants are somewhat different from their lateralized hand-use. Some researchers have tried to explain high variability in the development of lateralized hand-use using a dynamic systems perspective. From this perspective, the emergence of new motor skills such as sitting, crawling and walking imposes new constraints on the development of lateralized hand-use but not necessarily on the development of hand-use preferences. The current large scale (108 infants) longitudinal (from 6 to 14 months) study explored the relationship between the development of gross motor skills and lateralized hand-use. Our goal was to explore possible fluctuations in lateralized hand-use development at the onset of sitting, crawling, and walking among infants with and without clear hand-use preferences (as assessed by a valid and reliable measure) and controlling for gender. The multilevel analysis performed in HLM program showed that only the onset of walking significantly influences the trajectory of lateralized hand-use, however this trajectory differ between males and females, and also depends on infant's handedness status.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Gross motor development, handedness, lateralization, lateralized hand-use, longitudinal, multilevel analysis
Left- and right-handedness $x Longitudinal studies.
Hand $x Movements.
Motor ability in children $x Longitudinal studies.
Child development $x Physiology.