AimTo study changes in muscular postural strategies and general motor behaviour during the transition to independent walking. Postural control was assessed at its two functional levels: (1) direction specificity, in which dorsal muscles are primarily activated when reaching forward; and (2) fine-tuning of direction specificity.
MethodIn an explorative longitudinal study, surface electromyograms of the arm, trunk, and neck muscles of 28 typically developing infants were recorded during reaching while sitting. Each infant was assessed in three developmental phases: during pull-to-stand (T0), first independent steps (T1), and 1 month after T1 (T2). Motor behaviour was assessed using the Infant Motor Profile (IMP). The effect on developmental outcome measures (postural parameters and IMP) of the developmental phases (T0, T1, T2) was estimated using linear mixed-effects models.
ResultsNone of the postural parameters changed significantly over time. However, individual developmental trajectories showed infant-specific postural reorganizational changes. Total IMP score decreased between T0 and T1 (mean IMP score 95% and 91% respectively; p
InterpretationTypically developing infants do not show consistent patterns of postural reorganization but show individual muscular strategies during the transition to independent walking. However, signs of reorganization of general motor behaviour are present.
- HEAD STABILIZATION