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Different Visual Input when Crawling Versus Walking

Posted Jan 14 2014 1:32pm
Child Development published research on how visual experiences changed over time in thirty, 13 month olds, who crawled or walked down a straight path wearing a head mounted eye tracker that recorded gaze direction and head centered field of view.  In addition, 13 more infants wore a motion tracker that recorded head orientation. 

The results indicated the following:

  • compared to walkers, crawlers' field of view contained less walls and more floor. 
  • walkers directed gaze straight ahead at caregivers, whereas crawlers looked down at the floor. 
  • crawlers obtained visual information about targets at higher elevations—caregivers and toys—by craning their heads upward and sitting up to bring the room into view. 
The researchers concluded that visual experiences are intimately tied to infants' posture.  Not exactly a newsflash for pediatric therapists but definitely an excellent reminder!

Reference:  Kari S. Kretch, John M. Franchak, Karen E. Adolph. Crawling and Walking Infants See the World Differently. Child Development.  Early View Article first published online: 16 DEC 2013
DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12206.

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