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Development of prehension between 5 and 10 years of age: distance scaling, grip aperture, and sight of the hand

By Mary M. Smyth, Janet A. Katamba and Kirsty A. Peacock


The authors investigated whether 5- to 10-year-old children (N = 75) differ from adults (N = 12) in the developmental course of distance scaling and the adaptations to the inability to see the hand during prehension movements. The children reached under a surface and grasped and lifted an object suspended through it. All children scaled velocity appropriately for movement distance, both with and without sight of the hand. However, 5- to 6-year-old children did not increase grip aperture with increased distance, whereas older children and adults did. The older children and adults spent longer after peak deceleration when they could not see the hand, and maximum grip aperture (MGA) was larger, providing an increased safety margin. Children aged 5 to 6 spent the same amount of time between peak deceleration and grasp, whether or not they could see the hand, and they failed to increase MGA when they could not see the hand. Prehension in the younger children differed from that of older children in two ways: The younger children did not integrate reach and grasp over different distances and did not use visual information about hand position to optimize accuracy

Topics: C800 Psychology, C820 Developmental Psychology, C141 Developmental Biology
Publisher: Heldref
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.3200/JMBR.36.1.91-103
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