Developmental sequence in the acquisition of anticipation during a new co-ordination in a bimanual load-lifting task in children.


  • Schmitz Christina
  • Assaiante Christine

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The aim of this experiment was to test the capacity of children to develop anticipation at various stages of their growth. We studied the learning process of an artificial co-ordination by means of a procedure of double unloading in two groups of children, and a group of adults. Elbow-joint angle measurement was used to assess for the improvement of the forearm stabilization through the six learning sessions. The main results report a developmental sequence of the acquisition of anticipatory postural adjustments (APA) similar to the one established for the ontogenesis of APA. A difference in learning dynamics, but also in the final level of performance, is reported between children aged 5-6 and children aged 7-8 years. The improvement occurring at the age of 7 years probably indicates maturation of internal representations, favourable to the faster setting up of operational anticipated control.

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