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The organisation of leg movements in pre-term and full-term infants after term age.

Geerdink, Julia J. and Hopkins, Brian and Beek, Wiero J. and Heriza, Carolyn B. (1996) The organisation of leg movements in pre-term and full-term infants after term age. Developmental Psychobiology, 29 (4). pp. 335-351. ISSN 0012-1630

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In a sample of 13 full-term and 10 preterm infants, the development of kicking movements was studied at 6, 12, and 18 weeks (corrected) age. In healthy full-term infants some characteristics are strikingly stable, such as the duration of the flexion and extension phase and the within-joint organization. These parameters did not differ in preterm compared to full-term infants. For other features, however, developmental changes and differences were observed. Full-term infants tended to decrease their kick frequencies slightly with age. In preterm infants much higher initial kick rates were found, followed by a steep decrease, which resulted in kick frequencies comparable to the full-term levels after the (corrected) age of 12 weeks. There is a tight coupling between the movements in the different joints of the leg in full-term newborns. Preterm infants, in contrast, initially show much lower cross-correlations between hip and ankle and between knee and ankle. This is particularly the case for those preterm infants who were born before 32 weeks gestation. Again, the differences resolved after the age of 12 weeks, which might be related to a transformation in neural functions reported previously around this age. The initial differences in the characteristics of kicking appeared to be more readily explainable by differences in neurological condition than by contrasts in leg volume or postural control

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Developmental Psychobiology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: UNSPECIFIED
ID Code: 18994
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2010 15:24
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 15:24
Identification Number:

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