Neonatal finger and arm movements as determined by a social and an object context
1994 (English)In: Infant and Child Development, ISSN 1522-7227, E-ISSN 1522-7219, Vol. 3, no 2, 81-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
What kind of hand and finger movements are newborn infants preoccupied with, and how are these movements organized and controlled? These questions were studied in two experiments under three conditions: a social condition, in which the mother (in expt 1) or the experimenter (in expt 2) sat face to face with the infant; an object condition, in which a ball moving slowly and irregularly was presented to the infant; and a baseline condition (in expt 1) without ball or mother present. The size of the ball and the distance to it was chosen so that it approximately corresponded to the visual angle of the head of the model. Twenty-six neonates participated in the study ranging from 2 to 6 days of age at the time of observation. All infants were in an alert, optimal awake state during the experiments. The infants' finger movements were scored from video recordings. The result revealed a large variety of relatively independent finger movements. It was found that finger movements differed both in quantity and quality between the three conditions. There were many more finger movements in the social condition than in the object and baseline conditions. In addition, there were relatively more transitional finger movements and flexions of the hand in the social condition, and relatively more thumb-index finger activity and extensions of the hand in the object condition. Finally, the arms were more often forward extended in the object condition than in the social condition. The results support the notion that neonates show different modes of functioning towards people and objects.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1994. Vol. 3, no 2, 81-94 p.
Newborns; finger movements; arm movements; social interaction; object interaction
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-63351OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-63351DiVA: diva2:581800