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Upper and lower body functional asymmetries in the newborn: do they have the same lateral biases?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Department of Psychology, Lancaster, University, Lancaster, UK .
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2005 (English)In: Developmental Psychobiology, ISSN 0012-1630, E-ISSN 1098-2302, Vol. 46, no 2, 133-140 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is still an open question as to whether functional asymmetries in the human newborn derive from a single lateralized system or multiple subsystems based on different neural mechanisms. In the present study, asymmetries in head turning were compared to those in leg movements during stepping and placing, with the latter also being related to differences in leg mass. The effects of an active versus an inactive state or condition were examined for all three behaviors. No overall lateral biases were found for head turning or for the first foot to move in stepping and placing, and there were no concordances among them; however, there was an asymmetry in that the left foot had a shorter onset latency when compared to the right foot for both stepping and placing. Findings are discussed in terms of what they imply about underlying neural systems that have a bearing on expressions of newborn laterality, and also with regard to the impact of methodological differences in this area of study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Wiley , 2005. Vol. 46, no 2, 133-140 p.
Keyword [en]
human newborn, laterality, stepping response, placing response, head turning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5061DOI: 10.1002/dev.20046OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-5061DiVA: diva2:144421
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Development of functional asymmetries in young infants: A sensory-motor approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of functional asymmetries in young infants: A sensory-motor approach
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Human functional laterality, typically involving a right-sided preference in most sensory-motor activities, is still a poorly understood issue. This is perhaps particularly true in terms of what underlying mechanisms that may govern lateral biases, as well as the developmental origins and course of events. The present thesis aims at investigating functional asymmetries in the upper and lower body movements of young human infants. In Study I, the presence of side biases in the stepping and placing responses and head turning in healthy fullterm newborns were explored. No evident lateral bias for the leg responses in terms of the first foot moved or direction of head turning was found. However, a lateral bias was revealed for onset latency in relation to the first foot moved in both stepping and placing. Asymmetries in head turning did not correspond to asymmetries in leg movements. In Study II, functional asymmetries in the stepping response of newborn infants were investigated in more detail by means of 3-D kinematic movement registration. Evident side differences were found in relation to smoother movement trajectories of the right leg by means of less movement segmentation compared to the left leg. Side differences were also found in relation to intralimb coordination in terms of stronger ankle-knee couplings and smaller phase shifts in the right leg than the left. In Study III, using the same movement registration technique, the kinematics of left and right arm movements during goal-directed reaching in infants were prospectively studied over the ages 6, 9, 12, and 36 months. Main findings included side differences and developmental trends related to the segmentation of the reaching movements and the reaching trajectory, as well as the distribution of arm-hand-use frequency. The results from Study I and II are discussed in relation to underlying neural mechanisms for lateral biases in leg movements and the important role of a thorough methodology in investigating newborn responses. Findings from Study III are discussed in terms of what they imply about the developmental origins for hand preference. An emphasis is also put on developmental differences between fullterm and preterm infants. Overall, the studies of the present thesis show that an increased understanding of subtle expressions of early functional asymmetries in the upper and lower body movements of young infants may be gained by means of refined measurements. Furthermore, such knowledge may provide an insight into the underlying neural mechanisms subserving asymmetries in the movements of young infants. The present studies also add new information to the current understanding of the development of human lateralized functions, in particular the findings derived from the longitudinal data. Apart from theoretical implications, the present thesis also involves a discussion with regard to the clinical relevance of investigating functional asymmetries in the movements of young infants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: institutionen för psykologi, Umeå universitet, 2006. 172 p.
Keyword
Laterality, development, handedness, human infant, stepping response, placing response, head turning, arm movement, reaching, kinematic parameters, intralimb coordination
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-751 (URN)91-7264-066-9 (ISBN)
Distributor:
Institutionen för psykologi, 90187, Umeå
Public defence
2006-05-12, Hörsal E, Humanisthuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2017-02-01Bibliographically approved
2. Stepping, placing and headturning biases in newborn infants: A neurodevelopmental perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stepping, placing and headturning biases in newborn infants: A neurodevelopmental perspective
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the present thesis the stepping, placing and head turning responses in healthy humanfullterm newborns are investigated. The main focus is put on a study of these newbornresponses in relation to functional asymmetries, while at the same time exploring anddiscussing different factors that possibly can affect the outcome of such studies. Study I aims to examine one such factor in relation to underlying mechanisms controlling leg movements in focusing on the effects of glucose on newborn stepping and placing responses. The results revealed that glucose, as well as an inactive state, resulted in less pronounced stepping responses and difficulties in eliciting them. There was also a tendency towards a similar finding for placing in that both glucose and an inactive state were associated with a less vigorous placing response, although this could not be proved significant. However, there was no effect of glucose on expressions of laterality in either ofthe responses studied. A theoretical debate in progress concerns whether different newborn functional asymmetries can be said representing a single neural system for lateralization or multiple sub-systems rooted in different neural mechanisms (Grattan, De Vos, Levy, & McClintock, 1992). In order to look closer at this issue in relation to newborn head- and leg preferences, Study II was designed to investigate the presence of side biases in newbornstepping and placing responses (lower-body), together with head turning preference (upperbody), and whether observed lateral biases of the upper- and lower body are congruent with each other. No evident lateral bias could be found for either response in terms of the first foot moved or direction of head turning. Furthermore, asymmetries in head turning did not correspond to asymmetries in leg movements, in support for multiple sub-systemsrather than a single lateralized system. However, a lateral bias was found for onset latency in relation to the first foot moved in both stepping and placing. The findings are discussed in relation to underlying neural mechanisms for lateral biases in leg movements and the important role of a thorough methodology in investigating newborn responses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Institutionen för psykologi, Umeå universitet, 2004. 27 p.
Series
Umeå Psychology Supplement Reports, ISSN 1651-565x ; 2004:3
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22534 (URN)
Distributor:
Psykologi, 90187, Umeå
Presentation
Bt 102, Beteendevetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-05-13 Created: 2009-05-12 Last updated: 2009-10-12Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/109931589/ABSTRACT

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