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Behavioral flexibility in learning to sit.

Authors
  • Rachwani, Jaya1
  • Soska, Kasey C1
  • Adolph, Karen E1
  • 1 Department of Psychology, New York University, New York, New York.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Developmental Psychobiology
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2017
Volume
59
Issue
8
Pages
937–948
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/dev.21571
PMID: 29071706
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

What do infants learn when they learn to sit upright? We tested behavioral flexibility in learning to sit-the ability to adapt posture to changes in the environment-in 6- to 9-month-old infants sitting on forward and backward slopes. Infants began with slant at 0°; then slant increased in 2° increments until infants lost balance. Infants kept balance on impressively steep slopes, especially in the forward direction, despite the unexpected movements of the apparatus. Between slant adjustments while the slope was stationary, infants adapted posture to the direction and degree of slant by leaning backward on forward slopes and forward on backward slopes. Postural adaptations were nearly optimal for backward slopes. Sitting experience predicted greater postural adaptations and increased ability to keep balance on steeper changes of slant, but only for forward slopes. We suggest that behavioral flexibility is integral to learning to sit and increases with sitting experience.

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