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Reaching strategies of very preterm infants at 8 months corrected age
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Barnendokrinologisk forskning/Gustafsson)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2011 (English)In: Experimental Brain Research, ISSN 0014-4819, E-ISSN 1432-1106, Vol. 209, no 2, 225-233 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Reaching strategies and kinematics for a group of very preterm infants were investigated and compared with a group of full-term infants when reaching for a moving object. Eight-month-old (corrected-age) infants were presented with small toys moving on a semicircular path in the vertical plane. The trajectories of the target and the hands of the infants were measured using a 3D motion analysis system. No differences were found in how often the infants encountered the target. The very preterm group, however, used bimanual strategies more often and had more curved reaching paths than the full-term group. These results suggest that very preterm infants are equally successful as healthy full-term infants in catching a moving object but their reaching strategies are less efficient compared with full-term infants at 8 months (corrected age).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 209, no 2, 225-233 p.
Keyword [en]
bimanual, development, moving objects, preterm infants, reaching, kinematics
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156745DOI: 10.1007/s00221-011-2538-xISI: 000288337200007PubMedID: 21267552OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156745DiVA: diva2:433122
Available from: 2011-08-09 Created: 2011-08-09 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Visual motor development in full term and preterm infants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visual motor development in full term and preterm infants
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Smooth tracking and efficient reaching for moving objects require the ability to predict the velocity and trajectory of the object. This skill is important to be able to perceive human action and object motion in the world. This thesis explores early visual motor development in full term and preterm infants.

Study I showed that horizontal eye tracking develops ahead of vertical (full term infants at 5, 7 and 9 months of age). The vertical component is also more affected when a second dimension is added during circular pursuit. It is concluded that different mechanisms appear to underlie vertical and horizontal eye movements

Study II-IV compared the development of the ability to visually track and reach for moving objects in very preterm infants born <32 gestational weeks to healthy infants born at term. The development of horizontal smooth pursuit at 2 and 4 months of corrected age was delayed for the preterm group (Study II). Some infants were catching up whereas others were not improving at all. A question raised by the results was whether the delay was caused by specific injuries as a result of the prematurity. However, the delays persisted when all infants with known neonatal complications and infants born small for gestational age were excluded (Study III), indicating that they were caused by prematurity per se. At 8 months corrected age preterm and full term infants were equally good at aiming reaches and successfully catching a moving object. Nevertheless, the preterm group used a bimanual strategy more often and had a more jerky and circuitous path than the full term group (Study IV). In summary, preterm infants showed a delayed visual motor development compared to infants born at term.

The results of these studies suggest that there is additional diffuse damage to the visual motor system that is not related to neonatal complications as diagnosed today. Measuring smooth pursuit could potentially be a new method for early non-invasive diagnosis of impaired visual function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2010. 70 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 62
Keyword
infant development, smooth pursuit, eye tracking, reaching, preterm infants
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-130858 (URN)978-91-554-7892-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-10-29, Sydney Alrutz-salen, Blåsenhus, Von Kraemers allé 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-10-08 Created: 2010-09-15 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Grönqvist, HelenaBrodd, Katarina Strandvon Hofsten, Claes

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