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Stepping, placing and headturning biases in newborn infants: A neurodevelopmental perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22534OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-22534DiVA: diva2:216974
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
List of papers
1. Glucose effects on stepping and placing responses in newborn infants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Glucose effects on stepping and placing responses in newborn infants
2003 (English)In: European Journal of Pediatrics, ISSN 0340-6199, E-ISSN 1432-1076, Vol. 162, 545-547 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer-Verlag, 2003
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22538 (URN)10.1007/s00431-003-1231-x (DOI)
Available from: 2009-05-12 Created: 2009-05-12 Last updated: 2011-06-09Bibliographically approved
2. Upper and lower body functional asymmetries in the newborn: do they have the same lateral biases?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Upper and lower body functional asymmetries in the newborn: do they have the same lateral biases?
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
Keyword
human newborn, laterality, stepping response, placing response, head turning
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5061 (URN)10.1002/dev.20046 (DOI)
Available from: 2006-04-12 Created: 2006-04-12 Last updated: 2011-05-17Bibliographically approved

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Domellöf, Erik

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