Asymmetrical motor behaviour as a window to early leg preference: a longitudinal study in infants 7–12 months of age

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Abstract

This longitudinal study explored leg preference in infancy during half-kneel pulling-to-stand (PTS) and asymmetrical four-point kneeling, which is part of the typical motor repertoire of infants. The special characteristics of the half-kneel PTS as a discrete task, performed in a bilateral context provide the opportunity to explore leg preference during an asymmetrical behaviour. Twenty-seven infants were observed in their homes, every 3 weeks between the ages of 7–12 months. Leg preference was determined by the “lead-out” limb used as the infants pulled to stand from the half-kneeling position (half-kneel PTS). As a complementary measure, the leading leg during asymmetrical four-point kneeling and crawling (“asymmetrical four-point patterns”) was used in the 10 infants who developed these patterns. The infants studied showed a general preference for using a leading leg during half-kneel PTS, which was mostly consistent over the study period. A strong correlation was found between leg preferences during half-kneel PTS and asymmetrical four-point patterns. The findings documented functional asymmetry in infant lower limbs during half-kneel PTS and asymmetrical four-point patterns, highlighting the importance of the tasks used to define leg preference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-199
Number of pages23
JournalLaterality
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by Israel Science Foundation [grant number 208/07] to Anat Scher.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Leg preference
  • asymmetrical task
  • developmental trajectory
  • infancy
  • lateralization
  • pulling to stand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)

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